Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


SH1 Through Mangamuka Gorge To Be Open For Christmas

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency expects to open State Highway 1 through the Mangamuka Gorge in the Far North to a single lane of traffic over the Christmas holiday period.

The road will be open to light vehicles under stop/go traffic management, but it will still be some time before trucks and buses can travel the road, says Waka Kotahi Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

The road has been closed since heavy rain across Northland in mid July brought down eight slips in the gorge. Most of the road has been cleared to at least one lane, but there’s been no safe way past the biggest slip on the northern side of the gorge.

“Initially the plan was to open the road in late October by installing a wall of concrete piles to support the road, but the slip repair is complicated with significant safety issues.”

“An estimated 7000 cubic metres of material fell away beneath the road, leaving the road surface unsupported to the centre line. The earth beneath the road is brittle and unstable and there is an old slip above the road that could reactivate.”

“Due to the instability of the slip site, we have to put in small temporary piles to make sure the road can safely support the large machinery required to install the permanent piles, which will be 15 to 20 metres long.”

Waka Kotahi is aiming to achieve that and open the road to light vehicles in mid December.

“Our crews will be working 20 hours per day to get this done as quickly as possible, but much will depend on the weather and the stability of the hillside. We’ll keep the local community informed of progress and a likely opening date.”

The cost of this first stage of the repair is estimated at $3.8 million.

Works will shut down for three weeks over the Christmas-New Year period to accommodate holiday traffic. Traffic management will be in place throughout this period.

Ms Hori-Hoult says that in the New Year the road will be closed again so the works team can cut into the hillside to realign the road as a permanent solution.

“We’re still working out whether we can do this work and have the road open at the same time. The team is aware of the impact the road closure has on our local communities.”

“Waka Kotahi acknowledges that closing the road means extra time and cost for people to travel on the recommended detour route - SH10 - which can add 20-30 minutes to the journey.”

The area, also known as Maungataniwha, has great significance to many iwi/hapū in the north and Waka Kotahi is consulting closely with them on the work under way and on the permanent repair.

Maintenance crews have taken advantage of the road’s closure to do extensive work, repairing the road surface, replacing roadside guard rails, drainage maintenance and generally tidying up the roadside.

“We thank motorists for their patience and understanding. We’re working as quickly as possible in difficult conditions to reopen the road. Achieving that, even just for the holiday period, will be our Christmas present to people in the Far North.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What We Could Do For Hong Kong, If Only We Dared

There has been something repulsive about PM Jacinda Ardern’s assurances that our joint 5 Eyes criticism of China’s actions over Hong Kong – and China’s harsh reaction – are all well understood on both sides. According to Ardern, it has been a case of us saying the sort of things we’ve said before, them acknowledging our need to do so, and then them responding much as we would expect them to do. All neat and tidy. Frankly, if all of this is merely virtue signalling on our part, and huffy declarations of independence on their part, then what’s the point of this diplomatic dance..? More>>


Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>


Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>


National: Leader’s Speech At Annual General Meeting

Good morning delegates. It’s an absolute privilege to be speaking as your leader. I’d like to acknowledge the party president, regional chairs, board members, National Party staff, our MPs, our candidates, and most importantly, you – the delegates, ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>


Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>


APEC: New Zealand Ready To Host Virtually

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels