Interim measures in place after slip

DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Last updated 15:44 23/05/2014
kakanui slip
BROKEN: Damage to sewer and water pipes on a section of Beach Rd, north of Kakanui.

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Single-lane vehicle access has been restored north of Kakanui after a recent land slip.

The major slip forced the partial closure of Beach Rd just north of the township, with diversions put in place at Fortification Rd and Seadown Rd.

A barrier has now been constructed at the site of the slip, with the road re-opening on Saturday.

Waitaki District Council assets group manager, Neil Jorgensen says the slip caused "extensive damage" to the road and he is unsure exactly how it occurred.

However, it is believed a rock shelf has fallen away into the sea, resulting in the collapse of a large amount of soil including a section of the road itself.

"The sea has been undermining the limestone shelf to the north of the slip and it appears to have collapsed," Jorgensen says.

"The soil above is incredibly wet following heavy and persistent rain over the last several weeks. The weight of the soil has been too heavy for the rock shelf, already compromised by coastal erosion, and this is seen as a factor to the shelf breaking off."

He says council is working on a long-term solution, with the road being moved further inland a strong preference.

"We understand the inconvenience this places on locals and businesses and we are working hard to find a long-term solution."

Temporary measures, including the erection of the safety barrier and diverting sewer pipes damaged in the slip, have been completed at a cost of close to $50,000.

Water pipes were also damaged by the slip.

Jorgensen was hopeful a long-term fix could be found for a cost of less than $1 million, however council has not yet started discussions with landowners in the vicinity.

Oamaru ward councillor and Kakanui resident Melanie Tavendale says residents were shocked the slip happened where it did.

"It's been disappointing I think because it's not been in an area we realised was an area of issue."

She says council will "have to do its homework" to come up with the best option to address the issue going forward.

Corriedale ward councillor Bill Kingan says coastal erosion is a major issue in the area and action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.

"It has to be addressed, it can't be ignored."

Jorgensen said safety was a major concern for the council and he advised motorists to be watchful along Beach Rd.

"Our main concern is the safety of the community. We urge motorists to observe temporary speed limits and consider the safety of all road users."

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- South Canterbury

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