In November last year Kairakau Road was hit with heavy rainfall which caused the road to collapse at the 7.1km mark. This meant the road was blocked and had to be closed to all vehicle traffic.
What has been happening?
We know this road is a really important lifeline to the Kairakau and Mangakuri communities. After its closure, residents were redirected to an alternative route that meant travel time increased significantly.
We recognise the negative impact the road closure has had, so we have been working diligently with our technical partners to provide single-lane access while we find a permanent and durable solution.
Where are we now?
We have been working with Stantec to complete geotechnical evaluations and design the new layout for this section of Kairakau Road. We now have the additional land that was required and have awarded the construction contract to local firm, Higgins.
Where to from here?
We are pleased to say site preparation is set to begin in early May. Firstly, the existing fence will be removed and a new fence will be built along the boundary. The team will then clear vegetation and kick off earthworks, creating a new foundation for the road.
In our last update we promised to have a single lane access open by December 21st. We were successful in our efforts and opened the route on December 14th 2021. We would like to thank-you for your support and patience during that time.
Although it may appear that not much has happened since the opening of the single lane, we have not been idle. In the background we have been working hard on the agreements with Waka Kotahi (our funding partner) formerly NZTA, to ensure all is in place for construction of the full 2 lane access to begin.
We have also been working with the landowners to acquire the land we need for the new road. While we are still completing this step, we have also been finalising the design for the new road and completing the drilling required to finalise the pavement design.
Physical work on the site is expected to recommence in early March with a completion date of June 30th 2022.
We appreciate your on-going patience and support and will provide updates every 2 weeks once physical work starts on site.
There may be some minor delays encountered during this construction especially towards the end so we can tie the new road into the existing road. We ask that you be courteous to our workers.
Higgins Contractors have managed to complete the design and rebuild of a single lane road in little over a month. Traffic will be controlled by safety signage, a 30km speed limit and priority give-way. Higgins will continue to monitor the lane on a daily basis.
Higgins contractors have been busy constructing a single lane temporary access since early November and have made great progress. With the use of a 29 tonne excavator and a 30 tonne Moxy dumper they have cleared all of the area required to build the new access, excavating over 700 cubic metres in one day.
Higgins are currently making good progress in efforts to restore single lane access to Kairakau.
On Wednesday, Council met with residents from Kairakau and Mangakuri to discuss a stage approach to restoring access to these beachside communities after Kairakau Roadsuffered significant movement at the 7.1km mark after heavy rain earlier in the month.
Stage 1 began yesterday and will see a single lane priority access available for use by 21 December.
The second stage will involve ongoing investigations and design of a permanent route situated away from the landslide area which will continue while the single lane access is being completed.
This project is more complex and involves other stakeholders but it is forecast to be completed mid next year.
Specialist geotechnical drilling equipment is being used to investigate best possible solution for a safe staged rebuild to reopen of Kairakau Road, with some test results expected back this afternoon.
Drill testing is analysing the structure of the geology beneath the road and surrounding area, to enable us to understand the make up of the land.
This will allow us to understand what solutions are feasible in the staged rebuild of Kairakau Road.
Tests so far, alongside aerial footage, have informed that the slip is significantly larger than what was originally understood, and extends further than the marked road into the surrounding countryside. As of yesterday (11 November) the land above, below and beneath the road was still moving.
Unfortunately, this means that it is not possible to reopen the road safely by digging a lane out. It is also not a possibility to install a Bailey Bridge, due to the span of the slump.
Further test results will determine that the proposed land for the new section of road is safe from the ongoing slip, and along with land negotiations, will determine the next steps in confirming the best possible solution for the roads reopening.
Council has met with Waka Kotahi NZTA on site and confirmed that the staged rebuild of the road is eligible for an agreed share of funding.
Council will release a timeline for the safe reopening of the road as soon as possible.
Council is continuing to work with landowners to negotiate an access point for children to reach the school bus, around the slip.
Planned road resealing will take place next week to waterproof and extend the life of roads along the detour route.
Working hours have been limited to avoid commuter traffic.
This road maintenance is necessary to ensure the surface of the road remains safe for the increased number of road users, and is particularly important due to the spouts of wet and hot weather forecasted in the coming weeks.
Road signage to clarify the detour route has been ordered for installation at key points. Maps are being delivered to key locations for the benefit of road users travelling through the area.
Concrete boulders are in place at the access points of the slip following reports of cars failing to stop.
Both lanes of Kairakau Road have been closed at approximately the 7.1km mark following significant road movement, brought on by many days of persistent rain. Council is working urgently to find the best possible solution to the fix and safe reopening of the road in both the short and long term.
Detours are in place however please be cautious as these routes are less-frequently used and are currently very wet. The diversion route will be Mangakuri Road, Clareinch Road, Pourerere Road and River Road and signs are in place to mark this.
Ongoing slow movement has been occurring in this section of road over a long period of time, with a known slump worsening in recent weeks. Major repairs - which would have involved the excavation, re-stabilising and rebuilding of the site - were planned for summer, however yesterday's significant and unprecedented slip means that this approach is no longer possible. The slip has occurred following last week's heavy deluge of rain, and the team will now be using specialist geotechnical drilling equipment to achieve a thorough understanding of the full issue and what options exist to resolve it.
We know this is an important route for many of you and the impact of the road closure is severe. Currently, the team is focusing on short term solutions to get the road back up and running, before planning for the long term fix, which may take some months.
If you are impacted by the Kairakau Road closure and have questions or concerns, please contact Council on 06 857 8060. Our Roading Team are working to compile information to help us to understand requirements, and are available to speak to you.
Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Central Hawke's Bay District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Central Hawke's Bay District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Central Hawke's Bay District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.
© Central Hawke's Bay District Council - / +64 6 857 8060 / email@example.com