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Marlborough’s Road To Recovery – 24 September Update

Marlborough Sounds’ residents affected by the damage to the Kenepuru Road today heard details of the recovery roadworks plan for their area, including further support that has been arranged to help them.

Marlborough is facing a lengthy ‘Road to Recovery’ after a storm on July 17 caused widespread flooding and landslides and a local state of emergency in the region.

The Marlborough District Council and the Marlborough Roads Recovery Team hosted a Zoom meeting this afternoon attended by affected residents’, property owners, businesses, the Mayor, Councillors and key Council staff.

The Marlborough Roads Recovery Team talked through the progress made to date, the current status of the road network, the challenges ahead, the recovery plan and the prioritisation of repair works. The programme of works has been divided into Recovery Zones for the entire district. The ‘Kenepuru Zone’ contains 27 high risk areas and 38 complex repair sites. To view the finalised programme of works for the Marlborough Sounds go to: https://bit.ly/KenepuruCommMeeting24Sept

There was some good news for residents in the area with ‘controlled access (residents only)’ to be made available for residents between the Linkwater turnoff and Mahau Road, including Moetapu Bay Road. “This will be welcome news for people in this area, particularly a number of families who have children to get to school,” said Marlborough Recovery Manager, Dean Heiford.

Resident or Essential Passes will be required from Wednesday 29 September from the checkpoint at the Linkwater turnoff for Moetapu Bay Road, Mahau Road and the Kenepuru Road (only as far as Mahau Road) with all these roads classified as ‘controlled access – resident only’ from this date. No access or passes will be available for the Kenepuru Road, beyond Mahau Road.

Passes will only be valid when the road is open. Control measures will be in place to ensure only people with passes access the Kenepuru Road as far as Mahau Road. For further information including criteria go to: https://bit.ly/RoadToRecoveryMarl

The Marlborough Roads Recovery Team also confirmed that contractors will not be working at Labour Weekend and they will also break for three weeks at Christmas. During both periods there will be inspections and a manned guard house.

“There will still be restrictions but, where controlled access for residents is available this will allow them to be able to use the road without delays due to construction works,” said Mr Heiford. “We know that contractors are going to be in the area for some time and this is going to rely on the support and goodwill of the local community to allow the repair works to get done, but it won’t be without inconveniences.”

Inconvenience for those affected by the current closure of the Kenepuru Road and its associated side roads is not a new situation.

Marlborough Recovery Manager Marianne Aitken said now the programme of works had been released, there can be a renewed focus on transport needs. “We understand some of the major causes of frustration are around increased costs for people to travel when the road is not an option,” she said.

The Council is working with water-based passenger transport operators for services around Kenepuru Sound and services through to Havelock and Picton, as well as supporting services to Blenheim and Nelson. “We are meeting with providers next week to work out how best we can meet people’s needs. Once we have confirmed arrangements with transport providers we will circulate the information.”

The travel won’t be free but it will be subsidised. Marlborough i-SITEs will be the coordination point for bookings and payment and will offer a seven day a week service to assist.

The Council has also increased the current subsidy for barge services to $100 + GST each way to reduce costs for affected Sounds' people. This runs every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. People are asked to contact Johnson’s Barges in Havelock direct for details.

“As we get closer to the busy summer season, Port Marlborough will also remain committed to helping Sounds’ residents with free parking and free and discounted berthing. All details will be on our and their website shortly,” said Mrs Aitken. For more information go to: https://bit.ly/PortMarlboroughSupportInfo

Another frustration for Sounds’ residents is the additional time involved and accommodation costs for people affected by the repair works, sometimes having to stay overnight before they can return home. The Council has now secured temporary accommodation through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

“This is for overnight stays to help people who cannot connect with transport services to get home and for people who need to stay longer, for example, until residents’ access is restored along the road,” said Mrs Aitken.

Affected Sounds’ residents will need to register their details via www.tas.mbie.govt.nz using the West Coast Flooding button as this is the same storm event or they can call 0508 754 163.

Further Information

Anyone who needs support as a result of the July storm should contact the Council at recovery@marlborough.govt.nz

For the latest road status before you start your journey, please visit the Marlborough Emergency Management Official Public Information Map: https://bit.ly/CDEM-Map

To stay up to date on the latest roading alerts, go to: https://bit.ly/RoadingAlertsMarl

Resident’s Pass or Essential Service Pass for Moetapu Bay Road, Mahau Road and Kenepuru Road (Linkwater to Mahau Road), go to: https://bit.ly/RoadToRecoveryMarl

For roading information and queries please contact Marlborough Roads on 03 520 8024 or 0800 213 213 between 8.00 am - 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can email the recovery team at recovery@marlboroughroads.com

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