State Highway 25 is now open around the entire perimeter of the peninsula thanks to the huge efforts of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s local contractors today.
“For the first time since Cyclone Gabrielle cut off access on Monday, people living in settlements such as Coromandel and Whangapoua, can travel for essential purposes,” says Cara Lauder Waka Kotahi System Manager for the Waikato.
Last night the road re-opened from Thames to Matarangi around the east coast, but slips remained between Ruamahunga Bay and Tapu on the Thames-Coast Highway and between Te Rerenga and Kūaotunu.
“Our focus today was on clearing the remaining slips, but it was a huge job. We are thrilled that the team has done it and we’ve been able to restore access to communities that have been isolated for days. We appreciate how hard this must’ve been for everyone.
“We thank the people of Coromandel and visitors for their patience at a time of extreme stress and fatigue,” Ms Lauder says.
Contractors continued work to clean up the roads today, but the effort is ongoing and caution is advised.
“Driving remains hazardous. Please take it slowly. Many areas are reduced to one lane. There is still slip material, rocks, trees, mud and debris on the road.
“If you really need to travel, please do so before 9.30pm tonight. SH25 Te Rerenga to Kūaotunu will be closed at 9.30pm and reopen in the morning. For safety reasons, we do not want people driving through this section in darkness,” Ms Lauder says.
“Coromandel road users should be prepared for disrupted travel for some time. Contractors will be back at work tomorrow and may have to close sections of SH25 for periods of time again if required,” says Ms Lauder.
Priority access will be given to emergency services including supplies and fuel.
Clearing the way on SH25 between Materangi Road and Kūaotunu: