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$2m approved for urgent road repairs

Emergency works were needed at Kerosene Ridge, Blairlogie-Langdale Rd, Masterton earlier this year. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Masterton District Council has unanimously approved seven urgent rural roading repairs at a cost of $2 million after an extreme winter weather event.

On July 12, more than 109mm of rain fell on Masterton’s already saturated catchment in less than 24 hours.

This caused the failure of 19 key sections of rural roading, and routes are still affected, with lanes partially or fully closed.

With the risk of further damage high, councillors had approved urgent repair works on seven of the 19 sites, amounting to $2,025,000.

Waka Kotahi told the council’s roading manager the damage qualified for the emergency works fund, which would reduce the council’s share of the cost by $300,000.

But Masterton District Council chief executive David Hopman said the fund was “not a bottomless pit” and that many other councils had applied for the same pool of funding.

“We have some real liabilities as a council to keep our network operating, and we have had a hammering this winter,” Hopman said.

“We haven’t had a winter like this for probably a decade.”

A senior Masterton roading engineer said this was the worst winter for roading damage he had seen in 30 years.

Approving the works will plunge the council’s Flood Damage Fund into a deficit from $760,000 to $1.06m by June next year, assuming no further weather events cause further damage.

A report to council said the deficit in the Flood Damage Fund could be sustained in the short term by offsetting it against the council’s overall investment funds.

But the fund should be restored to a positive balance, and to do so, council would need to add at least 2 per cent to next year’s projected rates increase.

Alternatively, restoring the fund could be smoothed over two years with increases of 1 per cent per year.

These decisions would be made by the next council.

Of the seven sites needing urgent repair, three are on Masterton-Castlepoint Rd, and four are on Blairlogie-Langdale Rd.

The most expensive piece of work [$842,924] involves building a 72-metre long retaining wall with 7m embedded grouted anchors on Blairlogie-Langdale Rd to prevent further loss of the road.– NZLDR

  • Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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