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Coromandel’s Tapu-Coroglen road on track to reopen this week

Author
Jim Birchall,
Publish Date
Mon, 4 Dec 2023, 9:49AM
A slip in January on the Tapu-Coroglen Rd.
A slip in January on the Tapu-Coroglen Rd.

Coromandel’s Tapu-Coroglen road on track to reopen this week

Author
Jim Birchall,
Publish Date
Mon, 4 Dec 2023, 9:49AM

The contractor responsible for repairs to three sites on the vital Coromandel trans-peninsula route Tapu-Coroglen Rd says the completion of the rebuild of the storm-ravaged road is imminent.

The road was severely damaged by last summer’s weather events and has remained closed 10km from Tapu.

Geotechnical investigations in June revealed a large slip had formed on the slope above the road at the same site. An initial plan to widen the width of the road to one lane of traffic and open by June never materialised as a retaining wall to protect the road from the unstable slope above needed to be built concurrently with a retaining wall built from the river below to support the road.

In March, then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins visited Tapu-Coroglen Rd to assess the storm-ravaged region’s infrastructure first-hand, concluding; “We know we have a big job ahead of us.”

Delays caused by Cyclone Lola at the back end of October and site vandalism initially affected the speed of the project, but in a release, the Thames Coromandel District Council said “time has been made up” by Coromandel-based contractors Kelsey Construction.

Weather dependent it anticipated having the route open by Friday December 8, earlier than originally expected.

Earlier this year, Kelsey Construction worked to reopen roads in Colville, Port Jackson and other storm-impacted regions.

The council said the design chosen used mass block retaining walls to support the underslip, with materials sourced from local suppliers.

“This method has been chosen to ensure works can be completed quickly while providing a long-term solution that meets long-term needs.

“Works for the three sites on Tapu-Coroglen Rd have been packaged together to maximise efficiency.”

The company had planned to have the road reopened in mid-December, weather-dependent.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins inspects road damage on the Tapu-Coroglen Rd on March 9. Photo / Jim BirchallPrime Minister Chris Hipkins inspects road damage on the Tapu-Coroglen Rd on March 9. Photo / Jim Birchall

Repair works to fix three sites and reinstate the slip-damaged Kennedy Bay Rd began on Monday, November 27. Nicholls and Uttinger Civil Ltd is undertaking the work.

The site locations and estimated programme for the works are below (in order of construction). All distances are measured from the start of Kennedy Bay Rd, which starts from the end of Driving Creek Rd:

Site 2: 3.4km, Construction period: December 4 to December 8

Site 3: 1.1km, Construction period: December 11 to December 15

Traffic management will be in place for the three sites, including speed restrictions and traffic lights. You can expect up to 15-minute delays during work hours (7am to 7pm Monday–Saturday).

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