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Rubber hits the road with record works programme

14 Sep 2020

Rubber hits the road with record works programme

Together with the Tairāwhiti contractor workforce, over 200 redeployed and newly-recruited local people will deliver a massive $40m of road improvements on freight routes before the end of the year.

Funded by the Provincial Growth Fund and Tairāwhiti Redeployment Package, the programme features a record 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 (135,000m2).

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

Mayor Rehette Stoltz said the PGF and TRP have offered new starts and hope to so many local people affected by COVID-19.

“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,” said Mayor Stoltz.

“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 timeframe.

“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.”

Council has completed $32m 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, with 160 culvert replacements and hundreds of kilometres of drainage maintenance 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. Underway now is the re-metalling of the Hokoroa, Rakauroa, Pehiri and lower Mata roads.

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

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

East Cape Road is receiving much-needed culvert and drainage works, before the final eight kilometre 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 which lie on key freight routes and it is expected that a further 1000 trailer loads of hazardous trees for firewood will be cleared from roadside locations, to add to the 1000 trailer loads already collected (1300m3).

For more information about the Provincial Growth Fund and Tairāwhiti Redeployment Package investments, visit www.gdc.govt.nz/major-projects(external link).

Photo below: Seal repair works are currently underway on Kanakanaia Road.