Clean-up continues after flooding at Kuaotunu 23 September 2019 Our Council is working with Waikato Regional Council to get onto remedial works at Black Jack Reserve in Kuaotunu following the flood damage earlier this month. Most of the work is expected to be completed before the end of next week and includes: A structural engineer doing a geotechnical survey to assess the slip behind the fire station and give recommendations on the work required at that section of riverbank. The timeframe for this to be completed will depend on the engineer’s recommendations. Any debris still in the river will be retrieved and the riverbank will be reshaped where required, while trying to retain the existing trees. New trees may be planted to replace those that were damaged or lost. The damage to the boat ramp access road has been fixed and work has started on the removal of slip debris. The two walk-bridges have been assessed as safe to use but will need retaining works to add strength. “The required works to the main walk bridge have been fast tracked due to NZTA’s decision to close the road bridge,” says our Community Facilities Group Manager Derek Thompson. “The work sites have been cordoned off, but the footpath is very close to where heavy machinery will be operating, so please be careful and extra vigilant with children and pets in this area and stay well clear of any works.” State Highway 25 Kuaotunu River Bridge closure State Highway 25 at the Kuaotunu River Bridge, which is NZTA owned, remains closed in order to repair the bridge after damage from the heavy rain earlier this month. The full closure will help the repair work to be carried out as quickly as possible, and it is hoped the bridge will be open by Labour Weekend next month. "We understand the frustration this may cause for those who live in or travel to the area often. However, our contractors are working as hard as they can to repair the damage as quickly and efficiently as possible," says Karen Boyt NZTA Waikato system manager. NZTA has given the following instructions for Kuaotunu residents during the closure: Residents south of Blackjack Road will need to access Kuaotunu from Whitianga during this time. Residents west of the bridge will only have vehicle access from the Coromandel side. VMS boards, which are electronic signs, will be clearly signposted via either SH25A and SH25 or SH25 Thames Coast Road. Pedestrians will be able to cross the river via a separate, existing walk bridge. "We hope to have the bridge open again by Labour Weekend, however, this is weather dependent,” Ms Boyt says."We will keep the community updated, and we ask motorists travelling to the area to check our Journey Planner or call 0800 44 44 49 before leaving, for the most up-to-date information about the repairs.” "The NZ Transport Agency would like to thank the community and motorists for their patience during this time," Ms Boyt says. Our Civil Defence Controller Garry Towler says the road closure will have a big impact on the community of Kuaotunu as it will effectively cut the community in two and the connection to Matarangi and Whangapoua. Our Council’s emergency management staff are keeping in touch with the community to see if any additional assistance is needed, such as pedestrian access around the worksite and provision for emergency services. If you want to speak to someone from our emergency management team about this, call us on 07 868 0200. NZTA has worked with the local school s about school bus planning. Also, remember it will be school holidays for two of the weeks during the roadworks period. Visit the NZTA website for updates on the SH25 closure.