The Aspiring Highways team, on behalf of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, has been working on an historic slip site on part of SH8 called Ash McGregor’s (Shingle Creek, near Waikaia Bush Road) in recent months.
The slip site, which runs under the highway, started to show signs of significant movement through cracks appearing in the road surface in July this year after heavy rain and snow melt.
People who drive between Roxburgh and Alexandra will know that speed is reduced to 30 km/hour with temporary traffic signals restricting traffic to a single lane at this part of the route, since that time.
“The slower speed and single lane traffic is to enable emergency work to progress to ensure we avoid a major disruption in the future on this section of highway,” says Peter Standring, Maintenance Contract Manager for Waka Kotahi in Central Otago.
“The slip passes directly underneath the highway and has had small-scale remediation repairs over many years, but a more permanent solution is now being investigated,” he says.
As part of the recently announced Transport Resilience Fund, this section of highway has had funding confirmed, as part of the Low Cost Low Risk category (generally for projects costing up to $2 million).
Waka Kotahi will endeavour to keep road users and the community informed of the next steps in this longer-term repair.
While the design for the longer-lasting repair is underway, work is progressing on stabilising the area including drainage and the construction of a single lane to ensure all efforts are made to maintain access for SH8. Aspiring Highways will continue to monitor the site and respond to changing conditions, as weather and other factors could have an effect on ground conditions.
“We ask road users to drive to the conditions and adhere to all traffic management at this site at all times,” says Mr Standring.
In the meantime, Mr Standring thanks everyone for slowing around this site while it is managed to minimise further damage. “We know it is inconvenient short-term, but we are hopeful that a long-lasting engineering design solution is now in the wings,” he says.