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Problem road to be fixed at last

Waka Kotahi is about to begin a comprehensive rebuild of a notorious section of Chapel St in Masterton, which has been deteriorating with cracks and potholes for years.

Problem areas on the busy stretch of road will be rebuilt from the base, and other sections will be resurfaced.

Waka Kotahi said the resurfacing work would begin on January 24 and would be carried out at night with detours in place. The heavy vehicle detour will be on Ngaumutawa Rd.

Some sections of the road were resurfaced in 2005, while others were resurfaced between 2012 and 2014, and in 2017 and 2021.

During the winter of 2021, the road developed several large cracks and potholes. In that instance, the contractor met the cost of the repair.

NZTA said the road was now in a condition that demanded replacement and reconstruction work, not just repairs.

NZTA Wellington regional manager Mark Owen said the upgrade would happen in two stages: Resurfacing two sections in January and February, then reconstructing two sections in April and May.

Owen previously said Wairarapa District had weakened road bases due to a high water table and was under constant pressure from heavy trucks.

“Our aim is to provide a stronger, safer road for all road users – cars, trucks, cyclists, and pedestrians,” Owen said.

He said work would happen between 7pm and 5.30am when traffic volume was lower.

“This will let our contractors complete the work more quickly and efficiently,”

“We know road works such as this can cause frustration, delays, and affect businesses. But a key infrastructure link like this must be maintained and kept safe and up to standard for all road users.

AA Wairarapa president Craig Bowyer said the Chapel St rebuild was long overdue.

“People have been complaining about this for years and years and years.

“It has always needed a deep reconstruction, not just a surface repair, because the cracks and potholes were an ongoing problem.”

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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