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Te Wharau Rd slowly getting fixed

Te Wharau Rd has taken a battering from extreme weather events in the past two years, but Carterton District Council [CDC] says it is making inroads into knocking back into shape.

The half-sealed, half-unsealed 38km road between Gladstone and Flat Point has suffered from slips and dropouts – a hazard for residents and the many forestry trucks that use it.

A recent Wairarapa road study identified Te Wharau Rd as one of Carterton District’s most vulnerable roads.

Heavy rain events in February and August 2022, followed by Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle, resulted in CDC’s roading team completing 400 more jobs than were in its regular maintenance schedule for 2022-23.

Repairs for those four events have already cost $1.68m in Carterton District alone, with an additional $548,339 programmed for permanent repair in the future.

Sections of Te Wharau Rd were damaged in all four of those events.

In December, contractors regraded the unsealed section of the road, inspected its bridges, and replaced nine culverts on Arawhata Hill near Flat Point.

The roading team said it is working with Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] on a plan to plant 850 poplar tree poles along the road to improve slope stability and groundwater uptake.

It was graded again in March, and slips were cleared after the carnage of Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle.

A CDC spokesperson said contractors have made some temporary fixes, but permanent repairs are ongoing and may take up to two years due to the extent of the damage and the amount of work needed.

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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