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Kairakau Road rebuild

Updates and latest news on the Kairakau Road rebuild

Update 30 November

Higgins are currently making good progress in efforts to restore single lane access to Kairakau.

kairakau 3kairakau 2Kairakau 1

 Update 26 November:

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.

 

Kairakau Road stage one single lane 26 11 21

 

Update 19 November:

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is making progress toward rebuilding a section of Kairakau Road, which has been closed at the 7.1km mark following a significant slip which took place Sunday 7th November.

At an Ordinary Meeting of Council held on Wednesday 17 November, Council agreed to execute a direct engagement procurement of Higgins Contracting Ltd to carry out the physical works to replace a non-usable section of Kairakau Road and approved access to emergency funds to carry out the works.

Specialist engineers and equipment is continuing to investigate the best possible solution for the safe reopening of the road, with survey work underway now to assist in the design of the new section of road.

“Although a solution is yet to be set in concrete, Council is working as a top priority to dissect the options for allowing short term through access to the road,” says Monique Davidson, Chief Executive of the Council.

“Council’s engineering teams and expert technical support have worked to determine with the best accuracy possible the state of the site as it stands.

“At this stage, the work completed by engineering teams has determined that a repair or rebuild of the failed section of road on the same site will not be a long term effective option due to the instability of the ground beneath the existing road.

“Instead, the preferred approach to reopening the road is to build a small road retreat, as part of our staged approach to reopening the road.

“Higgins have proven their ability to complete works of this nature and are a trusted partner of Council holding existing contracts for similar works.

“By directly engaging with Higgins, we are avoiding lengthy and costly procurement exercises which would push out the physical delivery of works.

“Absolutely every effort is being made to ensure traffic can pass through Kairakau Road before Christmas,” said Ms Davidson.

At the meeting, Council resolved to approve the use of the Adverse Events fund to provide Council’s share of the costs of replacing the non-usable section of the road, up to a value of $550,200 with agreements being worked through with funding partner Waka Kotahi for the remaining costs.
 
“As there is no allowance for funding for events of this size within the current approved Land Transport Budget, the most appropriate option is to fund the repairs from the Adverse Events fund, given the nature and significance of the slip that has caused the incident,” said Ms Davidson.

Kairakau Road has been affected by ongoing slow movement over a substantial period of time, with a known slump worsening in recent weeks.

Major repairs had been scheduled by Council to remedy the slump, which would have involved the excavation, restabilising and rebuilding of the site, however investigations indicate that the severity of the slip and required rebuild would likely have occurred even if the planned repair works had been already made.

“We understand the impact the closure of Kairakau Road is having on the Central Hawke’s Bay community, particularly the locals of Kairakau,” said Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay.

“Council is committed to moving as quickly as possible to provide a safe thoroughfare for road users.”

Signed detours are in place through Mangakuri Road, Clareinch Road, Pourerere Road and River Road however road users are advised to take extra caution, as this route is less frequently used.

Concrete blocks are in place at the access points of the slip following reports of cars failing to stop.

Update 16 November:
  • Council officers will present a report at tomorrow's (Wednesday 17 November) ordinary meeting of Council, to provide elected members with the latest update on the slip and deliberate granting funding access from the Adverse Events fund for the rebuild of the Road.
  • Specialist geotechnical drilling equipment is continuing to investigate the best possible solution for the safe reopening of Kairakau Road.
  • A topographical survey will be mapped out this week to assist in the design of the new section of road. This topographical survey will identify and map the contours of the land surrounding the slip, including any features that exist above or below ground, to provide us with an understanding of the geology of the land and what options are available in the design of the new section of Kairakau Road.
  • Directional signage is being erected at key locations along the detour route to guide motorists to both Kairakau and Mangakuri.
Update 12 November 2021:

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.

Kairakau Boulders DrillKairakau Slip 1 resizeKairakau Slip 2 resizeKairakau Slip 3 resize

Elsthorpe school bus route:

Council is continuing to work with landowners to negotiate an access point for children to reach the school bus, around the slip.

Road maintenance along detour route:

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

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.

You can download and see the map below.

Kairakau Road Detour Map.pdf

 

Kairakau Road Detour Map

 

Update 10 November 2021

Key points:

  • Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has established the best and most efficient short term solution for the safe reopening of Kairakau Road is likely to be the build of a new section of road, around the slip.
  • Investigations on the state of the road are continuing however indicate that the slip is ongoing, and its impact may be too great to allow for the road to be repaired on its current site, either in the short or long term.
  • Council is continuing to focus on immediate short term access solutions for school children, medium-term temporary access for light vehicles and long term permanent reinstatement of a 2 lane road. Now, Council is working with land owners and its funding partner (Waka Kotahi) to put plans in motion for these options.
  • Signed detours are in place through Mangakuri Road, Clareinch Road, Pourerere Road and River Road however road users are advised to take extra caution, as this route is less frequently used.
  • Concrete boulders are in place at the access points of the slip following reports of cars failing to stop.

Media statement: 10 November 2021

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has established the best and most efficient short term solution for the safe reopening of Kairakau Road is likely to be the build of a new section of road, around the slip.

The rural road is closed at approximately the 7.1km mark, following significant and unexpected road movement which occurred as a result of the deluge of the heavy rain that fell across the Hawke’s Bay region last week.  

Investigations on the state of the road are continuing however indicate that the slip is ongoing, and its impact may be too great to allow for the road to be repaired on its current site, either in the short or long term.

Council has engaged specialist geotechnical drilling equipment to achieve a thorough understanding of the perimeters of the issue, and what options exist to resolve it. This work will confirm the need to build a new section of road around the slip or may show that some of the existing road platform/base is stable enough to be used going forward.

Council is continuing to focus on immediate short term access solutions for school children, medium-term temporary access for light vehicles and long term permanent reinstatement of a 2 lane road. Now, Council is working with land owners and its funding partner (Waka Kotahi) to put plans in motion for these options.

“We appreciate that Kairakau Road is an important route for many of our residents and that the impact of the road closure is severe,” said Monique Davidson, Chief Executive of the Council.

“Although the build of the new, temporary lane will take some time, our teams have established that this is the best and most efficient option given the circumstances.

“We understand that the community may feel frustrated and I want to assure you that our teams are treating this as a priority.

“The safety of our roads, and the welfare of our residents is what is most important above all else.

“Our teams are in touch with community groups and organisations, including Elsthorpe School and emergency services, and vulnerable residents to ensure no one’s wellbeing is compromised at this time.”

Council has worked with Elsthorpe School to find a solution to its school bus route which has been affected by the slip, with short term access solutions being worked on with landowners.  

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is responsible for 1,264 kilometres of formed roads, with much of the land transport activity’s focus guided by the adopted 2020 Land Transport Strategic Framework with the stated vision to ‘deliver safe, reliable and lasting road assets that connect our people and places and allow our district to prosper.’

Council develop and maintain a 10-year forward work programme to ensure effective and efficient service level delivery in line with requirements set heavily by NZTA who fund 60% of the activity.

The programme is based on historical records, recent work practices, along with visual inspections of the network, with $11 million budgeted for all activities across the network of roads per year as part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.

Kairakau Road has been affected by ongoing slow movement over a substantial period of time, with a known slump worsening in recent weeks.

Major repairs had been scheduled by Council to remedy the slump, which would have involved the excavation, restabilising and rebuilding of the site, however a new approach is now required in response to the significance of the weekend’s slip.

“Council was aware that maintenance of this section of road was required, and have been sealing all known cracks to ensure waterproofing as a temporary measure with major repair works scheduled to take place this summer.

“Unfortunately, we had no way of predicting that a slip of this significance would occur,” said Ms Davidson.

“Current investigations indicate that the severity of the slip and required rebuild may have occurred even if the planned repair works had been already made.’

Signed detours are in place through Mangakuri Road, Clareinch Road, Pourerere Road and River Road however road users are advised to take extra caution, as this route is less frequently used.

Concrete boulders are in place at the access points of the slip following reports of cars failing to stop.

 

Kairakau Road closure - Update 8 November 2021

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.

Kairakau Road Slip 8 November 2021 1Kairakau Road Slip 9 November 2

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