Nearly three months on from Cyclone Gabrielle, work continues to progress on rebuilding the bridges, culverts and low-level crossings that were destroyed in the floods.
Twenty two river crossings were impacted across the district, and reconnecting those communities affected has been a priority for Hastings District Council.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said council was acutely aware of how important it was for communities to have access restored.
“There is a huge programme of work being undertaken to have our network repaired and rebuilt and it’s been great to see the bridges and crossings that have been installed to date.
“There is a lot more to do, but we are working as quickly as we can – our thanks go to all the teams involved in pulling out the stops to get this done, and to our communities for their patience.”
Post-Cyclone, a bailey bridge has been installed to replace the Rissington Bridge, a temporary bridge has been instated at Dartmoor, the Ellis-Wallace low-level crossing has been installed in Esk Valley, the Arapaonanui low-level crossing has opened and temporary access has been established for Matapiro Bridge.
A bailey bridge is planned for Ellis-Wallace, and Moeangiangi and Mangatutu low-level crossings, and unless there are unexpected disruptions, these are estimated to open at the end of May. The bailey bridge at Whanawhana will look to open on May 15.
All of these solutions have been designed to create access as soon as possible with the same level of service retained, but some of the bridges may be subject to weight and speed limits and, as with the rural roading network as a whole, remain vulnerable to further weather events.
As such, council is asking that their use be limited as much as possible to residents and essential services only.
Meanwhile, the work programme continues on restoring the other access points.
The demolition of the broken sections of Redclyffe Bridge is entering the second/third week and the work is going well, with three/four weeks remaining. Council is working with the adjacent community through viable options for a temporary solution which could coincide with demolition. The earliest potential date for opening is the end of June.
The design of the Crystal Twin culvert is complete and temporary access has been reinstated for this structure as well as McVicars culvert.
Crownthorpe Bridge is due to be complete at the end of June, and solutions for the remaining structures including Brookfield, Darkeys Spur No1, Puketapu and Kereru Rd Gorge bridges are being investigated.
5 May 2023
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