NZTA to double efforts to repair and maintain slip-prone Coromandel highways

NZTA Waikato System Manager Karen Boyt updates the crowd about work being done on Coromandel highways at a public ...
TERESA RAMSEY/STUFF

NZTA Waikato System Manager Karen Boyt updates the crowd about work being done on Coromandel highways at a public meeting in Thames.

NZTA will spend more than double on Coromandel highways after they were closed more than 10 times than usual due to slips and rock falls.

​There have been 11 road closures on Coromandel state highways so far this year, compared to one or two road closures in previous years.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is currently spending $4.3m in emergency road works, including resilience works at five sites to minimise road closures.

Thames-Coromandel district Mayor Sandra Goudie asks for questions from the crowd at a public roading forum in Thames.
TERESA RAMSEY/STUFF

Thames-Coromandel district Mayor Sandra Goudie asks for questions from the crowd at a public roading forum in Thames.

In addition, $8.13 million will be spent repairing and resealing the road on State Highways 25 and 25A over the next three years, up from $4.72 million spent over the past three years.

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NZTA Waikato system manager Karen Boyt told a public roading meeting in Thames on September 6 that planned maintenance work was more than double that done in previous years, and would be completed by June 2018.

The Thames-Coast road was closed for about a week after a large slip at Ruamahanga Bay in April.
NZTA

The Thames-Coast road was closed for about a week after a large slip at Ruamahanga Bay in April.

Boyt apologised for poor communication during multiple slips, floods and rock falls in the region, affecting the community, motorists and businesses this year.

She said NZTA was currently issuing weekly updates on work being completed around the Coromandel highway network.

"There's a lot of work planned in the year ahead," she said.

Tapu's Royal Oak Hotel owner Bruce Efford was forced to sell up after on-going Thames Coast Rd closures cost him about ...
TERESA RAMSEY/STUFF

Tapu's Royal Oak Hotel owner Bruce Efford was forced to sell up after on-going Thames Coast Rd closures cost him about $80,000 in earnings.

"We are fully committed to improving our response in managing highways in the Coromandel. This includes better management of incidents and improvements to the road networks."

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Thames-Coromandel district Mayor Sandra Goudie is currently holding a series of roading forums around the Coromandel Peninsula to keep residents up to date about work being done on the highway network.

The roading forum on September 6 was held at the Thames Civic Centre, following a public meeting organised by the Coromandel Business Association in Coromandel township last month to discuss frustrations around on-going road closures.

Traffic was disrupted for weeks in April and May as contractors work to clear large boulders blocking one lane just ...
TERESA RAMSEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Traffic was disrupted for weeks in April and May as contractors work to clear large boulders blocking one lane just south of Whakatete Bay, Thames Coast.

Goudie said council would also be working with the NZTA over the next few years to ensure the highways were safe.

"We don't want to have it called the Coromandel thrill seeker scenic loop," she said.

"We want to call it the Coromandel scenic loop highway - a safe, reliable journey."

A large slip on July 23 closed SH25A from Kopu to Hikuai for many days.
TOM LEE/STUFF

A large slip on July 23 closed SH25A from Kopu to Hikuai for many days.

Boyt and Goudie encouraged members of the public to report any immediate roading problems, Ph 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49), and to check road conditions online: www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic.

 - Stuff

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