Work to rebuild SH25 the Thames Coast road will take longer than initially expected after detailed investigation revealed more damage than first thought to sea protection walls and the road surface.
The project to rebuild this stretch of SH25 should now be complete by June, rather than March as first predicted, with a further 6.7 kilometres of sea wall identified as needing strengthening after January’s storm.
Meanwhile the restriction on north-bound heavy trucks between Te Puru and Manaia will be lifted by the end of this week. Trucks over five tonnes are currently prohibited from using SH25 north-bound between Te Puru and Manaia, to prevent any further damage to the road.
The NZ Transport Agency is bringing in additional Higgins teams to speed up the reconstruction work.
“We appreciate that this delay is frustrating for local and travellers on SH25,” says Transport Agency Systems Manager Karen Boyt. “However we need to ensure that we do this important strengthening work, so that SH25 can better withstand future storm events.”
Much of the sea wall where the additional work is required had initially been assessed as needing only minor repairs. That first assessment was done about 12 days after the storm of January 4 and 5.
Further investigation revealed a number of additional sites that suffered only superficial damage, however they have been weakened enough that without additional strengthening the road could be undermined in the future.
Similarly with the repairs to the road surface we concentrated our attention on the sections that clearly required emergency repair. Further inspections have identified underlying issues on more sections of the highway that need to be repaired to prevent future damage.
“It’s worth doing this work now, while we have the crews on-site, to rebuild a stronger and more resilient SH25,” Ms Boyt says.
“Drivers using SH25 should continue to check our website or call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS before they travel and expect delays with stop/go traffic control and speed restrictions at different sites.”
This work is being completed during the wetter period in winter so a temporary seal may need to be laid. If this occurs a permanent seal may need to be put down next summer when the weather conditions are drier.