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Road to Recovery

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is committed to undertaking a full roading recovery project that will see the restoration of a reliable and resilient roading network for Central Hawke’s Bay.

We're facing the facts as we plan for the recovery of our 1,265 km of Central Hawke's Bay roads. 

Due to the devastating effects of Cyclone Gabrielle, as well as the enduring rain in winter 2022 and beyond, the district is facing damage on a scale we have not seen in generations.

As a result, Central Hawke’s Bay faced 72 roads closed due to large slips, washouts and damaged/destroyed bridges. Council launched into action to assess the damage across the district and carry out urgent repairs/clean-up at key sites and reconnect rural communities, with work costing up to $300,000 a day. 

The focus has since moved onto completing more detailed engineering and design work to address each site and prioritise the resulting programme of work accordingly. Many long-term, permanent repairs have been completed, while other roads have reopened with temporary repairs but remain vulnerable, limited to resident access only or have significant limitations. Council’s primary objective has been to restore single-lane, light vehicle access to all communities (not all roads) but reinstatements continue to enable heavier vehicles in targeted areas (Class 1 loading). 

It is estimated that Council is facing $150 million worth of damage in total across the 1,268 km roading network – $100 million for Cyclone Gabrielle damage and $50 million for the 2022 damage. 

How will the repair work be programmed?

The planned programme of repair work has been categorised into Minor, Simple and Complex Repairs, with each category packaged according to the type of work required: bridges, rock work (revetment), slips, culvert repair and network reinstatement/resilience.  

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Waka Kotahi has committed to funding 100% Council’s Planned Response work for repairs required as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, to the sum of $35.94 million available until the end of June 2024, with strict criteria as to the type of repairs it can fund (repairs not requiring in-depth, complex engineering and design work). Through National Resilience Plan negotiations with the Crown, Council has secured a further $11 million of funding to spread across four key Recovery sites: Wimbledon Road 1.3, Wimbledon Road 1.9, Elsthorpe Road and Fletchers Crossing. 

We are aware the efficient delivery of safe and accessible roads is essential for the district’s people, its communities and its economy. A team of engineers, project managers, designers and physical works contractors are working in partnership to ensure our Road to Recovery is well managed and well executed, prioritises repairs efficiently, and delivers results in line with budget and quality parameters while ensuring community benefit.  There will be decisions we need to make together about our approach to rebuilding roads and bridges, and where we need to focus any additional funding across the roading network.

Though a significant piece of work, the Road to Recovery programme remains a somewhat short-term solution to what is likely to be an enduring problem, therefore requiring a long-term view and consideration of the future effects of climate variability and change.

Cyclone repairs programme

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