The Thames Coast Road, State Highway 25, remains closed between Tararu, north of Thames, and Manaia and has now become a very long work site. Escorted convoys for residents only will continue today, at times as required, Sunday 7 January, between Tararu and Te Puru. The cordons will be manned 24/7.
“Through traffic will not be allowed to join the convoys today and we also ask local people who don’t have an urgent need, to refrain from joining a convoy, as this slows down our ability to complete repair work for all the Coast Road communities,” says Karen Boyt, NZ Transport Agency System Manager.
“We encourage people who can avoid this area to stay away so crews are not held up managing them instead of repairing the highway.
“On Saturday we completed our assessment and prioritisation of the damage to the Thames Coast Road. There is a large volume of work ahead of us and of all the damaged sites we have identified 29 high priority locations between Tararu and Manaia. Whilst these high priority sites have a total length of 3.5km, a considerable length, the total length of damage to the Thames Coast Road is in the order of three times this length – more than ten kilometres of damaged highway.
“Our first task is to work on the high priority sites as this will allow us to open the road to one lane using escorted convoys along the full length of the Thames Coast Road. These convoys are expected to run about every 30 minutes for full public use. We have brought extra resources onto the peninsula and will now have four excavators and two graders working to open the road to one lane.
“We are aiming to send the first full length public convoy through on Monday morning, 8 January, but we continue to encourage drivers who can take alternate routes to do so.”
All holiday traffic heading home today should use the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula, says Ms Boyt, via Tairua. “People who need to travel should expect delays as a result of the closure of the Thames Coast Road and extra traffic on these routes. Please build in extra time and be patient for everyone’s safety.
“In the middle of the week coming, around 10 January, we will provide an update on the full programme of recovery work to return the Thames Coast Road to two lanes of traffic.”