Road to lake set to reopen

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN
Last updated 15:19 18/12/2013
Southland Times photo
JO McKENZIE-MCLEAN/Fairfax NZ

Central Otago District Council infrastructure manager Jon Kingsford hopes to get Fruitgrowers Rd open to a single lane before Christmas.

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Access across the Clyde Dam to the Dunstan Rowing Club and popular recreation spots will be shut over the holiday period due to safety concerns.

Central Otago District Council infrastructure manager Jon Kingsford said the only public access to the rowing club and popular recreation areas Weatherall Creek and Burton Creek had been over the dam road since a landslip in October had blocked Fruitgrowers Rd.

With the holiday period expecting to bring extra patronage the council was planning to close the dam road and open Fruitgrowers Rd to single lane.

"We need to ensure some safety risks associated with access across the dam are addressed. The guard rail is quite low and easily climbable and given the extra patronage over the dam over Christmas the thought was to close the dam road and open a single lane," Mr Kingsford said.

Work had already commenced to temporarily create single lane access.

Opus senior geotechnical engineer Robert Bond said large rocks were continuing to "creep" down the hill.

"That is the biggest risk to the road because that can happen at any time. It is usual because most (slips) are triggered by a rainfall event or large amount of water in the system. This is a dry slip - water has not played a big part in deterioration."

Spotters had been watching for rockfall while people worked on the road, he said.

Work had included realigning power lines and cabling out of the path of future rockfall.

Mr Kingsford said the council was working with landowner, Contact Energy, over options for a permanent solution, he said.

"We have not costed it yet - it is something we have not budgeted for. Our primary concern to start with is how we can at least open a single lane on a temporary basis while we look at options associated with a permanent solution. Any solution will have to be agreed with (Contact Energy)."

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