Ground state holding up road repairs

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The unstable ground under Coast Rd, between Warrington and Karitane, is causing continuing delays in repairing the uneven road surface.

The pitted, pot-holed and uneven surface of the road, particularly near Puketeraki Lookout, and the lengthy wait for repairs is causing frustration for residents.

The state of Coast Rd was a hot topic of discussion at last month’s Waikouaiti Coast Community Board meeting, where concern was expressed over the timeframe for repairs.

Board member Geraldine Tait was unimpressed by the lack of a clear timeline for repairs, and said that people in the area felt they were being neglected.

“I accept that we will always have country roads, gravel foot paths and less attention to our area, but there has to be a bottom line.

“My big concern about the major slip, apart from how annoying it is, is that it’s very dangerous if someone doesn’t know the area – plenty of freedom campers and other tourists use Coast Rd,” she said.

Dunedin City Council transport delivery manager Josh Von Pein said slips and slumps had been problematic on Coast Rd since it was first built, requiring ongoing repairs.

“Some areas were left as gravel up into the mid-’90s, as it was easier to gravel and grade the road when it moved.”

A large slip at the lookout end of Coast Rd had occurred in May last year, following heavy rain, and had since been repaired, he said.

However, movement of the hill and the road surface continues, resulting in a bumpy road surface and potholes near the lookout and at other points along the road.

Monitoring of the site for movement was continuing and, once it became static, Downer contractors would re-level and resurface the road, he said.

Mr Von Pein confirmed some requests for repairs had been received by the council, and said contractors and consultants had been engaged to make areas of concern safe and monitor any movement.

“We are programming work now and will do repairs very soon to the worst areas.

“We have signs on the bad areas warning vehicles to slow down for the change in surface.

“The nature of the ground conditions, weather and terrain means this work is ongoing.”

Waikouaiti Coast Community Board chairman Alasdair Morrison said the topography of the area meant Coast Rd had been a problem for “donkey’s years”.

While the repairs after last year’s rain event had taken “a bit longer than we would have hoped”, he understood council contractors were stretched.

“It is a bit of a waiting game, because of the nature of that hill.

“But there is no point in sealing it if the whole thing is going to slump again.”

The nature of Coast Rd had been of concern to the community board some years ago, he said. The board had managed to have the speed limit reduced to 80kmh on the road.