SH25 Thames Coast Road recovery update from NZTA 01 March 2018 SH25 repairs complete in June, open fully to trucks this week. Work to rebuild SH25, the Thames Coast Road, will take longer than initially expected after detailed investigation revealed more damage than first thought to sea protection walls and the road surface. The project to rebuild this stretch of SH25 should now be complete by June, rather than March as first predicted, with a further 6.7 kilometres of sea wall identified as needing strengthening after the 5 January storm and king tides. Meanwhile the restriction on north-bound heavy trucks between Te Puru and Manaia will be lifted by the end of this week. Trucks over five tonnes are currently prohibited from using SH25 north-bound between Te Puru and Manaia, to prevent any further damage to the road. The NZ Transport Agency, who are responsible for the State Highway, is bringing in additional teams from Higgins to speed up the reconstruction work. “We appreciate that this delay is frustrating for locals and travellers on SH25,” says NZTA Systems Manager Karen Boyt. “However we need to ensure that we do this important strengthening work, so that SH25 can better withstand future storm events.” Much of the sea wall where the additional work is required had initially been assessed as needing only minor repairs. That first assessment was done about 12 days after the storm of January 4 and 5. Further investigation revealed a number of additional sites that suffered only superficial damage, however they have been weakened enough that without additional strengthening the road could be undermined in the future. Similarly with the repairs to the road surface attention was given to the sections that clearly required emergency repair. Further inspections have identified underlying issues on more sections of the highway that need to be repaired to prevent future damage. “It’s worth doing this work now, while we have the crews on-site, to rebuild a stronger and more resilient SH25,” Ms Boyt says. It’s important to note that as work will be complete during winter, a temporary seal may be laid which will require a permanent seal to be put down next summer. While this work is on-going, drivers on this section of SH25 should continue to expect delays with stop/go traffic control and speed restrictions at different sites. The Thames Coast Rd is open to campervans, motorcaravans and the likes, however there is an alternate route to Coromandel Town by going through Tairua and Whitianga. Summer resealing work on SH25/25A complete Over the past couple of months various sections of the State Highway around the Coromandel have had new seal laid and seal repair carried out. This is part of the Transport Agency's commitment to spend $8.3 million on repairing and resealing SH25 and SH25A over the next three years. Meanwhile NZTA are finalising design and preparing to tender work on the resilience projects that will help make the road more resilient to the effects of storms and heavy rain. The main projects to be completed around the Coromandel Peninsula are: SH25A Kopu-Hikuai retaining wall and rock protection wall Boundary Creek, rock wall to protect against erosion Kereta Hill, retaining wall (section 2) Whangapoua Hill, retaining walls at two sites Kuaotunu Hill, retaining walls at two sites In addition to the resilience work there are a number of projects to improve safety around the Coromandel that will take place this year. For more information on the SH25/SH25A Thames-Coromandel project visit www.nzta.govt.nz/thames-coromandel. How to stay up to date A webpage has been set up to provide travel information for the journey from Thames to Manaia www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/sh25. The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions nationwide is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic. Information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here. Thames Coromandel District Council facebook updates here. Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information either before they’re travelling or when they’re on the road.