Saturday, May 25, 2024

Road to recovery mapped for Marlborough

A timeframe for repairing Marlborough’s most damaged roads and bridges/culverts has been released by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Marlborough Roads.

Marlborough Mayor, John Leggett has welcomed the announcement saying the enabling of controlled access via a pass system to the full length of Kenepuru Road and side roads was a major milestone in the Marlborough roads recovery.

“Public access to this road will be looked at again next year and will depend on construction progress and safety. We understand the restrictions will be frustrating for visitors to the area and holiday home rental owners however controlling access via the pass system will reduce the amount of traffic and reduce the risk of further damage,” he said.

“We appreciate the ongoing support and understanding of residents, property and business owners, and all those who have been affected through what has been a period of huge upheaval. It’s also important that the roading crews who have been working hard to reconnect our communities have a break this Christmas.”

System Manager Top of the South for Waka Kotahi, Andrew James, said there had been up to 21 crews working in the district on complex repairs following the 17 July storm which destroyed road access to many bays, valley areas and homes.

The 17 July storm damaged 460kms of road in different locations around Marlborough, causing more than 1,350 faults, some of them significant, initially closing 350km of road with 23 structures (bridges and culverts) damaged.

“We understand that people will want this work to happen as quickly as possible, but the fixes are extremely complex in some places and we do need to take care of our crews and people permitted to use the roads, given the fragile state of the network,” said Mr James.

“All the work coming up is subject to further weather events and COVID-19 means some materials will be in short supply, factors which can affect completion dates. To date crews have made great progress and securing access for residents to Kenepuru Road this week was a big step forward,” he said.

This allows ‘controlled access’ to the full length of Kenepuru Road, as well as side roads, outside of hours of construction. Public access to this road will be looked at again next year and will depend on construction progress and safety, he said.

The Awatere Valley Road to Molesworth Station will also be open to the public for a specified period before Christmas into the New Year.

Mr James outlined the rest of the Marlborough Roads work programme through to the end of 2023:

  • Work in the Pelorus and Waihopai areas (not including the Waihopai bridge) will be completed early next year with the Awatere Valley and Northbank work aiming to be completed by mid-2022;
  • Kenepuru Road (Portage to the outer Sounds) will take until late 2022;
  • Queen Charlotte Drive and the Waihopai bridge replacement will go into early 2023;
  • Kenepuru Road (Linkwater to Portage) and all other roads in the district needing repairs will take until the middle of 2023.
Marlborough roads recovery progress as at 31 October 2021.

Mr James said people would notice many more road cones, workers and temporary traffic management on their local roads right through 2022 and into 2023 in some places. There will be restrictions with crews working in narrow places with varying hours for road closures at different places, depending on the works, he said.

“Please keep connected via the Marlborough Roads Recovery newsletter and the Council’s Antenno app so you are well informed and not surprised by any changes. Please give the crews your attention – we want everyone to be safe while this work is completed for all our benefit.”

For more information go to: High-level programme of works and road access by recovery area | Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

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