Consent applied for in Waikare Gorge realignment project

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 26, 2023

Consent has been lodged for the Waikare Gorge realignment project to bypass six kilometres of the existing SH2, which includes the slip- and rockfall-prone Waikare Gorge, between Wairoa and Napier.

The realignment project will include 3.9km of new road and a 160m-long arch bridge, approximately 60m above the Waikari river.

Waka Kotahi regional manager of infrastructure delivery Rob Partridge said the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle and the destruction of the gorge bridge has shown how crucial the realignment project is.

A new Bailey bridge has now been installed and the road has reopened to day time traffic between Wairoa and Napier. Roading contractors are continuing to work on other damaged sites, as Waka Kotahi works towards opening the road 24/7.

“This project will make this section of the road resilient, safer and lead to more consistent travel times,” said Patridge.

“We’ve been working on this project since before the cyclone and funding to date has come as part of the Provincial Growth Fund, first announced in 2020. Progress on this project has been made possible in a large part thanks to the continued support from local communities.”

Consent applied for in Waikare Gorge realignment project said the past three months has shown that whenever this section of highway is closed, for whatever reason, the impact on both Wairoa and Hawke’s Bay is huge.

“Even before the cyclone, this area has been prone to slips and rockfall, so a safer and more resilient journey over the gorge should help with more consistent and reliable journeys,” he said.

“An added benefit of the realignment project is that there will be minimal disruption to the existing road and road users, something I’m sure the communities in this area will welcome after the past few months.”