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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Hinekura Rd opens

After more than a year since a catastrophic slip forced its closure, Hinekura Rd near Martinborough has finally re-opened between Hikawera and Moeraki roads.

The significant landslide in June 2022 closed the road, and residents were forced to take alternate routes, either over a farm track on a local farmer’s property or via the much longer and more complex route on Admiral Hill.

In an update on February 29 from South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC], it was stated that remediation works were underway.

Work to fix the road included rough alignment, environmental measures, tree felling and bulk earthworks. The project to fix the road has a budget of $785,363 despite the initial indicative cost ranging between $0.7 million and $1.2m. SWDC placed a funding request to NZTA Waka Kotahi to realign the road, but the transport agency denied the $14 million request, saying the investment did not represent “value for money”.

A report showed the estimated average daily traffic movements on Hinekura Rd totalled about 225 vehicles, of which eight per cent was heavy traffic.

In light of that data, NZTA’s regional manager of Lower North Island Mark Owen said the transport agency didn’t believe the project represented value for money but that NZTA could possibly contribute about 20 per cent of project costs, “in line with Waka Kotahi’s uneconomic roads policies”.

Instead, the newly re-opened road was reconstructed through the landslide, an option that was decided in June 2023 and came with a higher risk of failure but at less cost.

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