The tenderer selected to build the new 110 metre bridge on State Highway 25A that will reconnect the Coromandel Peninsula is a joint venture between McConnell Dowell and Fulton Hogan, supported by Beca and Tonkin and Taylor. What is proposed is to build a bridge using off the shelf designs that can be partly fabricated off-site. Negotiations on contract terms continue. The design for a three-span composite bridge with a concrete sub-structure, steel superstructure, and pre-cast concrete deck, utilises readily available materials. This will enable a simple and quick build. The project team’s safe and efficient construction and access to a vast in-house equipment fleet means they can fast track the process and the road will reopen sooner than otherwise might be possible. We know that this road closure, and any delays to construction, have a massive impact on travel time, cost and quality of life for the people who live, work and visit the Coromandel region. While the final cost and exact timeframe are still being worked through, announcing the construction team means the design work and site establishment can progress imminently. Subject to contract award, their first job will be to establish site offices and build all weather access tracks for the machinery required. Meanwhile, we are continuing to ready the SH25A road approaches to the site for the project team to bring in the necessary equipment and materials to begin site set up.
Thames Coast: We are now working on the final stages of clearing slip material from Cyclone Gabrielle along the Thames Coast. If there are no further wet weather events causing more slips and damage, we expect to have this completed by July.
A tomo (cut) uncovered on the road at SH25 Whakatete Bay during recovery works has now been repaired.
Vegetation clearance continues between Manaia and Te Kouma. This has included creating visibility windows for aquaculture industry trucks leaving Te Kouma Road. Next week we will begin working between Wilson Bay and Manaia, which will include creating visibility windows for truck drivers on the Kereta Hill.
Tairua – Whenuakite: Repairs at the Tairua Quarry culvert south of Whenuakite have now been completed and pavement works are being scheduled.
McBeth- Opoutere: Drainage infrastructure rebuilding is underway between Hikuai and the McBeth-Opoutere underslip. At the underslip site, culvert installation within the wall area is underway. Trucks without trailers are now using this section of SH25.
Stop/go traffic management and temporary speed limits will be in place. These works are weather dependent.
Editor’s note about resilience and being resilient: Last Wednesday’s Herald, 7 June, had a feature on building a resilient future. That’s such a ‘go to’ word now as if it has just been discovered. It’s a great word. Resilience developed New Zealand. It’s what inherently abided within Maori and Pakeha to navigate survival in earlier days. It seems to be a new word for the Government at all its levels.
This is a word traditionally describing the quality of a person or team or tribe (sometimes a plant), – “the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Being resilient does not mean a person doesn’t experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering. Resilience involves the ability to work through emotional pain and suffering.” (Webster and Cambridge)
Now it is a word ascribed to policies, annual plans, major repairs and bridges. Minister Woods used it a lot on his last visit to Thames. It is just an interesting development in our political language which may not change anything in terms of the wellbeing of our nation. What is certain is that the communities whose businesses have been reduced due to the broken highways and stop and go hold ups, and one- lane access in many places will need to be resilient at their very core. They will not make it through this hard time.
The business grants are over. The winter is here.
Assisting one another and planning for a better future will help this.