Bluff Road to reopen
Bluff Road to reopen
The Bluff Road between Matarangi and Suckers Rock will be open for walking and cycling by the end of the year, once unstable rocks and debris is removed and mesh netting installed.
This month our Council approved $125,000 towards the remedial work, which will allow the road to be reopened later this year to cyclists and pedestrians. However it will not be accessible for vehicle traffic due to the high cost it would take to open and maintain the route for all transport modes.
"We're doing all that is required to make the road safe and able to be open to cyclists and pedestrians, who use it as a thoroughfare to get between Matarangi and Kuaotunu West," says Allan Tiplady our Area Manager for Mercury Bay. "The primary driver for reopening this portion of road is for amenity reasons rather than to provide alternate road access," he says.
"Currently the rock face at the most at-risk section of the road has deteriorated to the point where only a thin sliver of rock is supporting a large section of the rock face, so that when this falls there will be a rapid collapse of a large volume of rock," says Mr Tiplady.
Now that Council has approved $125,000, the next steps will be removing all that rock and debris, installing the mesh netting and getting the road open before this coming summer.
In the past two years sections of the Bluff Road has had several significant rock falls, which has resulted in approximately $200,000 being spent on remedial and design work. The last rock fall in December 2015 resulted in this portion of Bluff Road being closed off while Council considered its future viability.
Between December 2015 and April 2016 discussions were held with both the Kuaotunu and Matarangi Residents and Ratepayer Associations, along with a Bluff Road Treatment Options report being completed, to look at all the options for the future of the road. Legal advice was also sought about total closure of the affected section of the road.
"We also put up pedestrian barriers, bollards and signage during this time, along with a monitoring programme to manage the public safety risk," says Mr Tiplady. "Those will remain in place until the road is ready to be reopened."
Other Mercury Bay work projects
Hot Water Beach toilets
Construction of a new toilet block at the Hot Water Beach main car park starts this week and will take two months to complete. During this time temporary facilities are in place at the opposite end of the car park. The new toilet block will have a 'Timber Wave' design, which reflects the Beach's popularity with surfers and swimmers alike. The number of toilets is increasing from 5 to 8 and there will also be a changing room and coin-operated hot shower.
Mercury Bay Multi Sport Park future development
Sand slitting of the fields to provide better drainage has been completed and came in under budget. That allows the remaining balance from the 2016/17 budget for the Sports Park to contribute to lighting the car park and a field. In the next financial year (2017/18) the plan is to get started on designs for a social space for the codes to share.
This project has been delayed due to the heavy rain fall and now re-scheduled for the 27th May to start the installation which is expected to take 5 days. These toilets are 'sunny dunnys' which replace the portaloos at the Bull Paddock carpark.