Flood damage set to top $1m
$500,000 for road damageRHONDA MARKBY
Flood damage is likely to cost South Canterbury councils more than $1 million, with much of the damage still to be costed.
The Timaru District is looking at a bill of $500,000 for road damage from the three floods of the last fortnight. That figure could easily double if a pier on the Raincliff bridge needed replacing, road transport manager Andrew Dixon said yesterday.
Much of the damage involves seal that has been undermined by water. With the council's roading budget already extremely tight, Mr Dixon said the council would apply to the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) for funding.
Crews were dealing with several slips around the district yesterday, with some in the same vicinity as those of a week ago.
At this stage staff have been unable to confirm the damage to Raincliff Bridge, on the boundary with Mackenzie District Council. Part of the bridge slumped 200 millimetres in the first flood and it has been closed since. Until the river level goes down, staff can not assess the damage or test the bridge for safety. The slumping is likely to have been caused by a pier sinking, which could indicate scouring around the pier base. Several repair options are possible, but if a new pier was required the bill could top $500,000.
Washouts around bridges and pavement damage are likely to cost the Waimate District Council $150,000-$200,000, roading manager Rob Moffat believes. One of the most expensive repairs was at the Cannington Rd bridge on the boundary with the Mackenzie District. The bridge was closed after the first flood. It reopened last week but those repairs lasted only a day before the next flood took out the approach again.
There was also the issue of a large amount of "pavement failure" and pot holes appearing because so much water had got beneath the seal.
Mackenzie District's assets manager, Bernie Haar, was not putting a final figure on the damage, but described it as "significant". The council had spent $64,000 getting roads and bridges open to a safe one-lane state.
There were 500 culverts that had headwall damage, had been over-topped or were blocked with gravel. Bulldozers were ensuring the rivers were flowing in the correct course beneath bridges.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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