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NZTA taking immediate action to restore damage to HiggsReserve

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The NZ Transport Agency has resolved to take immediate action to address damage to the Higgs Reserve caused by tree felling work yesterday.

The NZ Transport Agency has resolved to take immediate action to address damage to the Higgs Reserve caused by tree felling work yesterday.

The NZTA yesterday removed a number of gum trees from the road reserve on the approach to the Ruby Bay Bypass. The purpose of removing the trees is to improve sightlines for drivers and improve the safety of people using the road. These safety works were agreed with Tasman District Council.

NZTA state highways manager Rob Whight says the NZTA's contractors initially intended to fell the trees parallel to the road under "stop/go" traffic management, to avoid the risk of vehicles being struck by any of the trees being felled.

After contractors observed motorists ignoring the stop signs, a decision was made, out of concern for the safety of motorists, to cut those trees that leaned into the reserve on their current angle, rather than parallel to the road.

"Unfortunately this appears to have damaged some other trees in the reserve and resulted in some tree debris landing in the stream."

"We've been working in the vicinity of this reserve for the last two years and have taken great care to look after it, and we are naturally disappointed that this has happened."

"We share the concerns of people who value this environmentally sensitive area, and we are taking practical steps immediately to help put it right.

Mr Whight says the NZTA currently has an environmental engineer onsite to supervise the removal of tree debris of the stream.

"We are committed to restorative plantings, and we will be working closely with Tasman District Council and the Department of Conservation to see what else we can do to ensure this sensitive area gets the TLC it deserves."

Mr Whight says the NZTA will meet the full cost of any restoration work required as a result of its felling work.

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