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Rain further delays road repairs

Wednesday 21 September, 2022

Heavy rain forecast over the next two days will further delay road repairs.

Council Community Lifelines Director David Wilson says his team is fully aware people are frustrated with their roads not being repaired.

“As soon as drier warmer weather comes, contractors will be out on the roads doing all the necessary repairs. We just can’t get to them yet.

“We have more heavy rain coming tomorrow. The ground is already saturated from last week’s heavy rain, and with our particular soft geology this means any repairs done now will likely need to be redone further down the track. We simply don’t have the funds to do them twice.”

Mr Wilson says Tairāwhiti has one of the largest roading networks in New Zealand with more than half the roads rural and unsealed.

Council has fast-tracked $3.1m for priority fixes on roads across the district to fix slumps, dropouts and culverts. The schedule for these is on our website.

First are the roads that are school bus routes, the second are roads providing safe access to connect communities and the third priority is roads that are for forestry and farm access.

“Our district’s roading network is one of the longest in the country and goes over unstable and highly erodible land that's prone to slips and dropouts.”

Mr Wilson says other ongoing issues include climate impacts, more frequent flooding, and increased heavy traffic volumes from forestry.

“As the rain continues, we’re getting even more potholes and they’re a key issue for many people. We’re well aware of the need to fix them but we do have to wait for dry summer conditions so that they stay fixed.

“In August we were able to repair 760 potholes across our region.

“The maintenance schedule is also online, this shows when grading, resurfacing sweeping and mowing will be done for each street.

“We encourage people to check to see if work is programmed on their street before lodging a request for service.”

The website address is https://www.gdc.govt.nz/services/roads-and-roadsides/road-works

“However, if you still need to tell us where the issues are either report any damage by filing a request for service by using the GDC FIX app on any smartphone, calling us on 0800 653 800, email service@gdc.govt.nz or via the eFix service on Council’s website.”

Until all the issues can be fixed, Mr Wilson asks everyone to drive to the conditions.

“We all drive these same roads and the safety of everyone is paramount.”

Our rainfall data is also on the website and this enables people to see river levels as well.