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January 2019 – February 2020 – milestones achieved


All ex-cyclone Gita repairs complete

In February 2020 work was wrapped up on the ex-cyclone Gita-affected sites, just over two years on from the extreme weather event.

On 20 February 2018 ex-cyclone Gita wreaked havoc on an already earthquake-affected coast, bringing down 60 slips along the Kaikōura corridor from the Hundalees to just south of Clarence. Over 300,000 cubic metres of material needed to be cleared from the road and rail in order to get the transport networks up and running.

The earthworks, geology and engineering teams worked swiftly to restore access north and south of Kaikōura, with the material moved in less than two weeks, and road and rail back on track by 5 March 2018.

At major Gita-affected sites engineers have focussed on increasing the capacity of infrastructure to create easy -access, low-maintenance design solutions. The newly widened debris flow bridges, culverts and strengthened retaining walls aim to reduce the necessity of road and rail closures in future.

Last sea wall block for the whole project placed at Half Moon Bay

On 9 October 2019, the team working at Half Moon Bay laid the final seawall capping block of the final seawall.

Overall approximately 3.3km of seawall has been built, using over 11,000 concrete components to complete the walls.

sea wall with stacked tiered layers parallel with a coastal road

Last sea wall block at Half Moon Bay (9 October 2019).

Te Ana Pōuri and Rākautara safe stopping areas were opened

In October 2019 the Rākautara and Te Ana Pōuri safe stopping areas were opened in time for Labour Weekend.

There are six safe stopping areas planned between Clarence and Oaro to provide residents and visitors with safe parking, better amenities such as toilets, and access to key recreational destinations along the route.

Rakautara sign at a safe stopping area on a beach area

Rākautara safe stopping area (11 December 2019).

Tunnel 11 and 19 rockfall protection extension slides complete

In October 2019 crews at Tunnel 19 south of Ōhau point finished sliding a number of concrete sections against the tunnel mouth to form an extension. This will act as a permanent rockfall protection measure. This is similar to works completed at Tunnel 11, south of Kaikōura, where crews worked around an existing rockfall shelter.

Shelter made of steel and concrete stabs on roadside near hill

The temporary rockfall shelter prior to removal at Tunnel 19 extension (6 November 2019).

SH1 through the Hundalees opened for two-way traffic

In September 2019 this ex-cyclone Gita-damaged section of road was put back to two lanes, meaning a quicker trip through the Hundalees after 18 months of travel via one lane.

Repairing this section was a major piece of work as the edge of the road had fallen off, down the hillside. To rebuild it, a working platform was created on the side of the hill, six metres down, and then the land was slowly built up to eventually reinstate the second lane.