March target for road repairs

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 13:00 05/12/2012

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The Nelson City Council has called for expressions of interest to begin large-scale repair works to Cable Bay Rd, which was badly damaged in last December's landslips.

Work on what is likely to be an 18-month project was not expected to start until late February or March, city council network services executive manager Alec Louverdis said yesterday.

The road was initially blocked by more than 30 slips, which stranded residents and several tourists for days.

The slips destroyed some sections of the road.

The road remains single lane in parts with access controlled by traffic lights. The council decided in March to rebuild the road to the same level as it was before slips closed it last December. Full repair costs are expected to be around $3.5 million, shared between the council and New Zealand Transport Agency.

The council's $1.9 m share was approved through this year's long term plan process.

In May, the council listed the job among its top priorities in the flooding and landslip recovery works. It said it had appointed a consultant to fast-track the design of Cable Bay Rd, with the aim of getting it as functional as it was before the December flood and landslips. Tenders were expected to be ready to go out by mid-July.

Mr Louverdis said this week the scale of the job and wet winter had created challenges, but expressions of interest had now been called for and the shortlisted contractors would be asked to price the work which would speed up the process in awarding the contract.

"Our intention was always to try and get work out as quickly as possible. The Cable Bay works are huge [around 28 individual slips] each needing their own investigation, consultation, preliminary and detailed design, their own resource consents and their own building consent.

"This has all taken a lot longer than anticipated and bearing in mind the area was wet for a long period, which hindered geotechnical investigations critical to guide design solutions, and then we got more rain, which did not help."

Mr Louverdis said the council hoped to get prices from shortlisted contractors before Christmas and then evaluate and award the job early next year.

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"There is a lot of preparatory work to be done by the successful contractor before they even get to the site and this will involve traffic management as we still need to maintain access while we deal with the individual slips, plus consultation with residents and ordering of material."

He said the job was expected to take 18 months to complete.

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- The Nelson Mail

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