Region still adding up quake road repair bill

IAIN SCOTT
Last updated 12:00 30/01/2014

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The cost of repairs to Tararua roads and bridge approaches after the Wellington Anniversary quake could hit $2 million.

Engineering services manager Ray Cannon told councillors at the Tararua District Council meeting in Dannevirke yesterday current estimates were between $600,000 and $800,000, but that could rise as new information came in.

Chief executive Blair King's report to the council indicated that, omitting the costs of cleanup, repairs could be up to $2m, depending on the viability of low-cost retaining walls.

Mr Cannon said after the meeting the $2m figure was included in the report to indicate that there could be other structural damage not yet seen.

"We are still assessing a lot of the areas that we haven't got exact data on just yet. So we are still assessing, and that could be realistic," he said.

"In the past we've had some figures where we've said $800,000 and we ended up spending $2m anyway."

He said the biggest problem the council had to deal with was damage to surface pavement, including slumping and longitudinal cracking.

"A lot of those, if there's not structural damage beneath, will be just ripping the surface up and replacing, reshaping and put the surface back."

He said the council would apply for funding from the NZ Transport Agency, as it was classified as an emergency event rather than maintenance.

Mr King told the council the piped wastewater network in Eketahuna had suffered significant cracking, evident from camera inspections.

He said the CCTV camera at the site had proved its worth in helping with insurance claims.

"If people have still got any damage out there that we don't know about, we'd appreciate hearing about it," he said.

He said engineers reported council-owned buildings suffered no loss of strength as a result of the earthquake.

Pahiatua-Pongaroa Rd was closed last week after large cracks appeared in the road and rock was dislodged at the Makuri Gorge.

The road is now open, with traffic management in place.

Mr Cannon said a company asked to clear the rocks did not arrive on site, and he was talking to other contractors. "Hopefully they will be cleared today," he told the council.

Mr King's report also indicated the earthquake had caused non-residential buildings such as woolsheds in the Pori Rd and Alfredton areas to move off piles.

It also noted the Eketahuna pool would have to be closed for the remainder of the season as a result of damage.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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