Council working to improve Wellington rural roads
14 July 2008
Council working to improve Wellington’s rural roads
Wellington City Council has been undertaking substantial strengthening and flood-protection work on rural roads on the west side of the city.
In 2005 the Council engaged Tonkin and Taylor Ltd to survey and identify road sites in rural Wellington that needed attention. Council officers have prioritised these sites, with the aim of ultimately strengthening as many of these sites as possible – starting with the most crucial areas first.
The Takarau Gorge Road, Ohariu Valley Road and Opau Road have all been undergoing repair work in recent months. A number of sites along these roads were identified where the road embankment had been eroded by increasing river flows and by the growing number of large vehicles – including logging trucks – now using the roads.
Gabion basket walls were chosen as the most durable and environmentally acceptable way of strengthening the Takarau Gorge Road beside the Ohariu Stream. The baskets were designed to absorb some of the force from a medium sized earthquake and have been installed at four sites along the road, which receives a battering when the stream floods. Meanwhile, at two sites on Opau Road and at one site on Ohario Valley Road the Council has installed timber pole walls as protection against erosion and scour.
The Council’s Urban Development and Transport Portfolio Leader, Andy Foster, says the roads are a vital link for residents in the Makara-Ohariu Valley area.
“While they are among the less-travelled routes in Wellington, these roads are often the only link which our rural residents have to the rest of the city. It’s important that they be kept in a good state of repair. “This year’s repairs are part of an ongoing project and further improvement works along the Takarau Gorge Road are planned for next year.
“The repairs we have made are long-term and permanent solutions to the problem of road embankment erosion. They are built to last, and will require minimal ongoing maintenance. These solutions are cost-effective and our investment of $450,000 now will pay off over the long-run.”