Saturday 26 March, 2022
Logging trucks are limited to movement between only Dunstan Road and Eastland Port and others are being asked for patience, as contractors work hard to inspect and repair a very sodden and rain-affected network.
While an immediate access route is being established to maintain critical services, Waka Kotahi is working to have a temporary fix in place by 13 April for the Maungahauini Bridge at Tokomaru Bay to restore the vital Coast link until a permanent solution is completed.
Council is working closely with Eastland Wood Council, forestry contractors and the Port on a prioritised plan to progressively open access to more roads and forests.
Mata, Ihungia, Tauwhareparae and Fernside roads are closed to all vehicles except emergency services vehicles – and only between the hours of 7am and 6pm – until further notice. Some emergency service providers have received permission from Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller David Wilson to access these roads. These vehicles had a maximum weight of 16 tonnes on Ihungia Road.
“Limiting traffic like this will allow our contractors and emergency service providers to be able to safely and efficiently assist our communities,” said Mr Wilson. “We know some people are using the Mata/Ihungia as a bypass route with the bridge at Tokomaru Bay out, but last night our contractors had to help a motorist who got stuck. It just isn’t safe.”
He said it could be necessary to introduce security at the start of the Mata/Ihungia road to make sure those who needed could access the route. “There is still a historical earth movement at the 3km mark on Ihungia Road,” said Mr Wilson.
Mata Road had to be closed for a short period on Friday for contactors to remove a log jam from the Pauariki Bridge.
The forestry industry has offered its support to contractors working on the damaged roads with heavy machinery, trucks, radio communications and people.