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Ponatahi Rd slips expected to continue

The sinking Ponatahi Rd is expected to continue slipping over the next few months, putting on hold emergency excavation works.
South Wairarapa District Council group manager of partnerships and operations Stefan Corbett said the road, like many in the network, suffered significant damage as a result of heavy rain in August.
He said the failure at Ponatahi Rd, which has now closed the southbound lane for about 100 metres, was identified after the extreme rain on August 8 and 9.
He said a 30kmh sign was initially installed, and repair work was done in an attempt to re-establish two lanes in the damaged section one kilometre north of the Ponatahi Bridge.
“As the hillside is still moving due to ground saturation and subsurface pour pressure, it is deemed unsafe to carry out emergency excavation works.”
Corbett said the expectation was that Pontahi Rd, along with many other roads in the district would continue to slip over the next two to three months.
He said the cost for repairing the road was currently unavailable, but funding for repairs has been included in an emergency works request to Waka Kotahi NZTA.
“The situation will remain one lane until funding is approved and the land has stopped moving.”
Corbett said in the meantime, drivers were recommended to take particular care when travelling that section of the road.

Mary Argue
Mary Argue
Mary Argue is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with an interest in justice and the region’s emergency services, regularly covering Masterton District Court, Fire and Emergency and Police.

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