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Post-cyclone work slips into overtime

Contractors clear the slip on Opaki-Kaiparoro Rd on Tuesday. PHOTO/TOM TAYLOR

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Contractors are still repairing damage in the Masterton district from last month’s ex-Cyclone Dovi, with a slip near Mauriceville only cleared on Tuesday.

Mauriceville resident Geoff Denovan said work started at about 8am Tuesday to clear a slip from Opaki-Kaiparoro Rd than had been there more than a month.

“It’s all being taken care of now; it’s just taken a hell of a long time to get anything done.”

Denovan said he had safety concerns while the slip was cordoned off with cones. He said a friend’s vehicle had nearly come head-to-head with a logging truck.

Repairs to Dorsets Rd, a dirt road near his house, had been made before those to Opaki-Kaiparoro Rd – the main road to Mauriceville.

“There were quite a few slips, but this was the worst one, and it’s been left to last. That annoyed me because it was the main one that impacted road safety.”

A Masterton District Council [MDC] spokesperson said ex-Cyclone Dovi had caused network-wide damage, and recovery work was likely to continue for three months after the event.

The spokesperson said that council staff made decisions on the priority of repair work in consultation with their contractors.

“The slip in question was not obstructing the traffic lane and was marked,” he said.

“The adjoining minor road [Dorsets Rd] was badly damaged both by Dovi and the preceding rainfall, and it was only really suitable for four-wheel drive.”

He said that although Dorsets Rd only served one dwelling, an airstrip at the top of the road served eight farms.

“Autumn fertiliser is a high priority for those farmers, and getting the fertiliser up the hill requires the road to be passable for heavy trucks.”

The spokesperson said that heavy rain and strong winds had affected sites in Masterton and surrounding areas, including Mikimiki Rd, Otahome Rd, Mataikona Rd, Bluff Rangitumau Rd, Dorsets Rd, Upper Plain Rd, Black Creek Rd, and Masterton-Castlepoint Rd.

“The damage includes numerous slips, dropouts, silt in drains, removal of fallen trees, and three major culvert washouts.

“Some sites will require the council to retreat sections of roads [move inland] where retaining structures would be uneconomic. This includes Mataikona Rd and Dorsets Rd, with investigation also on the Bluff Rangitumau Rd.”

MDC would lodge applications for government funding to assist in the recovery effort.

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