Free Kuaotunu to Whitianga shuttle to run while Kuaotunu River Bridge remains closed
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Posted September 27, 2019
Council Matters ,
Repairs to SH25 at the Kuaotunu River Bridge are making good progress and a free shuttle between Kuaotunu and Whitianga is being offered while the bridge is closed.
The bridge was badly damaged in the early-September storm and New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) closed it to all traffic last weekend, to make repairs as quickly as possible. It’s hoped the bridge will reopen in time for Labour Weekend, late October.
In just a week since the closure, roading contractor Higgins reports it has achieved a lot: Piling rigs and the sheet piles are now on site and three-quarters of the bridge deck has been removed.
Placement of the sheet piles will commence next week and observers will then see real progress of the repair and rebuild.
Minor repairs to the abutment of the foot bridge is complete and contouring of the riverbank is underway.
Thames Coromandel District Council has worked with NZTA, which has agreed to provide a free shuttle bus service from Kuaotunu to Whitianga while the bridge is closed. Go Kiwi Shuttles will depart Kuaotunu, outside the fire station, at 7:30am and 8:30am and will return at 4:30pm and 5:30pm each day, starting on Monday, September 30. For further information on the shuttle, contact Gary and Sandra at Go Kiwi Shuttles on 866 0336.
“We thank NZTA for its support to provide this service, and it’s great to be able to offer this in time for the school holidays,” says our district manager - north, Allan Tiplady.
Council has installed a temporary bike rack outside the Kuaotunu Hall at 12 Blackjack Rd for bus users and further racks can be brought in if required.
“We recognise the road closure will have a big impact on the community of Kuaotunu and we thank residents for their cooperation,” Mr Tiplady says.
“From this weekend, increased security will be in place during the night to keep an eye on the vehicles parked either side of the bridge.”
“If you want to speak to someone from our emergency management team about any concerns or requests for assistance, call us on 07 868 0200.”
Meanwhile, Council has commissioned Pinnacles Civil to do an assessment at the rear of the Kuaotunu Fire Station. This work has started and an update will be provided next week.
Kuaotunu flood works at Black Jack Reserve.
Any debris still in the river will be retrieved and the river bank reshaped where required. All care will be taken to try to retain the existing trees – in time new trees may be planted to replace those that were undermined and lost.
The damage to the boat ramp access road has been fixed and work has started on the removal of slip debris from the boat ramp. The two footbridges have been assessed as safe to use but will need retaining works to add strength. Works to the main footbridge have been fast-tracked due to the NZTA decision to close the road bridge. The majority of the work is expected to be completed before the end of next week.
Waikato Regional Council is asking for landowners with damage to a water course, stream or river on their property to contact its Whitianga office on 07 8660172.