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$40m Tairawhiti road repairs continue at full pace

A list of road improvements totalling $40 million will be delivered across the region's roading network before the end of the year.

The programme of works — being done by Gisborne District Council contractors, including 200 redeployed and newly-recruited workers — has been funded by the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) and Tairawhiti Redeployment Package (TRP).

It features 5200 truck and trailer loads (140,000 tonnes) of heavy metal for rural roads and the equivalent of 20 rugby fields of sealed road repairs.

“Months of planning and preparation between local contractors and partners Gisborne District Council, the Ministry of Social Development and the Provincial Development Unit have led to the programme getting into full swing this month, said Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz.

“The PGF and TRP have offered new starts and hope to so many local people affected by the Covid-19 situation,” she said.

“I've spoken to so many whose lives have been changed for the better by these projects through quality training, qualifications and full-time employment.

“We cannot underestimate how important this investment is to our region. Not only will we have safer, stronger roads, but this is a very large injection of investment in a short time frame.

“The objective of this central government investment is to make our region stronger and more resilient. It's done that and more, and we are so grateful to everyone involved for making this happen.”

The council has completed $32 million of PGF-funded works since May 2019 in addition to ongoing maintenance and capital projects.

Preparation for the metal and sealed surface upgrades with drainage and culvert works started earlier in the year. A total of 160 culvert replacements and hundreds of kilometres of drainage maintenance have been completed to date.

The $17m re-metalling programme started in late August, with contractors already laying more than 60,000 tonnes of metal on Mangamaia, Maungahaumi, Wairere, Panikau, Arakihi, Glenroy, Whakarau, Wharekopae, Oliver and Makaretu roads.

Re-metalling of the Hokoroa, Rakauroa, Pehiri and lower Mata roads is under way.

Also on the list of roads for metalling over coming weeks are Mata Road upper, Ruakaka, Parikanapa, Tauwhareparae, Waimata Valley, Tuahu, Paparatu, Waitahaia, Bushy Knoll, Kanakanaia, Mangatu, Kopuapounamu, Maraehara, Poroporo, Reporua, Kopuaroa, McIlroy and Tutumoe roads.

Most major freight routes, excluding state highways, are included in the $10m programme of sealed road repair works. Mangatu, Kanakanaia, Mata, Waimata Valley, Tauwhareparae, Tiniroto, Wharekopae and Waingake roads are in the priority group.

East Cape Road is receiving much-needed culvert and drainage works before the final 8km section of the road is sealed in a $1.8m upgrade.

A total of $3m will be invested in strengthening work on four rural bridges that lie on key freight routes.

It is expected a further 1000 trailer loads of hazardous trees for firewood will be cleared from roadside locations to add to the 1000 trailer loads (1300 cubic metres) already collected.

WORKS AND MORE WORKS: A massive spend on the region's roading network rolls along, with $40 million set to be spent on roadworks before the end of the year. This seal repair crew were pictured at work on the Kanakanaia Road. Picture supplied