Road to Recovery: SH25A rebuild ramps up, more government funding
Published on 02 August 2023
Activity ramps up on SH25A Taparahi
Above: The crane and piling rig (each weighing 100-tonnes) are set up and ready for main bridge construction to begin
Over the past week a 100-tonne crane and 100-tonne piling rig have been set up on the eastern side of the site, ready for the main bridge construction to begin at the eastern bridge abutment.
The first step will be to wind in the seismic casings for the piles – the large tubular metal sleeve that provides unrestricted movement of the top portion of the pile under earthquake loading. These casings are being cut to length in New Zealand and stored at Kōpū, ready for use.
Test drilling to determine the depth of the piles has already been completed.
Elsewhere on site, work continues laying more drainage on the hill above and below the bridge site, and stabilising access tracks with lime and cement so the machinery and rigs can be moved into position to drill the next set of piles.
Off-site, 15 prefabricated bridge beams are being manufactured by Hawkes Bay company Eastbridge at their factory, with the team working around the clock, 24/7.
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• Ruamāhunga Bay Overslips - GeoStablisation International is continuing its design of preventive maintenance at this site to enable construction.
• Wilson Bay Rockfill Embankment, Kereta - rock filling and associated works are continuing.
• Tararu Rockfill Embankment - works are underway and should be completed by the end of August.
Government funds urgent State Highway works
The Government has pledged another $567 million for immediate works on weather impacted State Highways in Thames-Coromandel, Northland, Tairāwhiti, Wairoa and Hawke's Bay.
Of this, $76 million will be spent in the Coromandel to help improve State Highway conditions, in addition to the $210,000 already committed to local road repairs. The funding, which will go to Waka Kotahi NZTA for the work, comes from the $6 billion National Resilience Plan announced in May's Budget.
This week, Cyclone Recovery Minister Grant Robertson said the Plan was established in Budget 2023 to build more resilient infrastructure in the face of climate change, and in the wake of the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle.
"Over time, the Plan will also address the severe infrastructure deficits that have held New Zealand back," says Minister Robertson.
"We need to ensure that transport infrastructure is rebuilt quickly post weather events, but also in a resilient way, as increasingly severe weather events will continue to hit New Zealand."
“We’re pleased to hear the news," says Mayor Len. "It allows things to get moving, but it’s only the beginning of what is needed. We'll be continuing to be a strong advocate for ongoing funding and support for our state highway and local roading networks."
Tapu-Coroglen tender released
The contract for repair works to the Tapu-Coroglen Road was released to tender last Friday 28 July. It's hoped that works on permanent repairs will start in early October when weather conditions are more suitable.
As works take place, Tapu-Coroglen Road will be closed to the general public. Discussions will take place with the appointed contractor about the placement of temporary barriers to prevent unauthorised use of the road through the construction site to protect the workforce and public. Interference with these works will result in delays in permanently reopening the road and additional costs, which will affect ratepayers.
Following a previous physical assault on geotechnical staff reviewing the major slip on Tapu-Coroglen Road, we've had reports of contractors’ staff clearing the slip at another site on this road being verbally abused and threatened. Details of both incidents have been passed to the Police. There's also been repeated cases of traffic management signs being stolen from sites on the road, endangering the public and requiring their replacement. If you have any information regarding these events, please contact the Police quoting incident number #p055515021. Measures are also being taken to safeguard the workforce.
NIWE Primary Producer Finance Scheme opens
The North Island Weather Events (NIWE) Primary Producer Finance Scheme is open for applications and Expressions of Interest for six weeks, until 8 September 2023.
The scheme is designed to help North Island land-based primary producers severely impacted by the North Island weather events in 2023, including Cyclone Gabrielle.
Primary sector producers including farmers, growers and businesses can apply through Kānoa for concessionary loans and equity finance. The Kānoa Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit support will be tailored to help individual businesses get back to a point where they can fully re-engage with commercial lenders.
A Loan Guarantee Scheme will also enable commercial lenders to provide loans to highly affected businesses across all sectors with more favourable terms, such as reduced interest rates. The Loan Guarantee Scheme is administered by banks and other lenders.
Find out more Online application
Mayoral Relief Social Recovery Fund
Applications for the Fund are now open until Monday 14 August, with funds to be distributed by Saturday 30 September.
“This has been set up for local community organisations and social services who are facing increased costs from supporting their communities through this year’s weather events,” says our Mayor Len Salt.
This fund must benefit tangata whenua, community and voluntary social service organisations located within the Thames-Coromandel area.
Our Council welcomes conversations with organisations working within the tangata whenua, community and voluntary social services sectors who feel their idea can provide a direct or indirect benefit for the district. The maximum funding will be $10,000 per applicant, GST inclusive.
Find out more Online application
Our recovery roadmap
Our Council has created an online roadmap of recovery milestones. We'll be making regular updates to keep you in the loop as our recovery effort evolves.
Download our recovery roadmap
NIWA Spring Forecast
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has released its Spring forecast today and looking ahead to October, it seems that hot, dry weather could be on the cards this summer.
For the Waikato and Coromandel:
- Temperatures are about equally likely to be above average (50 per cent chance) or near average (45 per cent chance).
- Rainfall totals are most likely to be below normal (50 per cent chance). An increased frequency of high pressure systems near the region will likely lead to spells of drier than normal weather.
- Seasonal wind speeds may be stronger than normal.
- Soil moisture levels are most likely to be below normal (45 per cent chance) while river flows are about equally likely to be below normal (45 per cent chance) or near normal (40 per cent chance).
Read the full forecast