Major works completed on Kaikoura Inland Road (Route 70)

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 16, 2020

NCTIR construction manager Cherie Leckner thanks the community for their support during the work to repair the Inland Road. 

The NZ Transport Agency and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance have completed the major earthquake repairs on the Inland Road (Route 70). 

More than 50 slips occurred on the Inland Road, and seven bridges were damaged in the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

The repair works consisted of 20 projects to restore the Inland Road back to pre-earthquake standard, including repairing bridges, culverts and retaining walls, as well as two major earthwork projects. 

NZTA owner interface manager Colin Knaggs says the completion of this work takes the team one step closer to completing the Kaikoura region‘s recovery and improvements work. 

“Completing our work on the Inland Road is a huge milestone for us and the community. We reopened the road in December 2016 to make Kaikoura accessible after repairing initial damage. Then in July 2019 we started focusing on making permanent and more resilient repairs.” 

Project works included the following: 

  • A new reinforced concrete bridge was built over the Wandle River to replace the original bridge that was damaged beyond repair during the earthquake. The rebuild took four months, using a total of 290 cubic metres of concrete, 10 bridge beams, and piles drilled up to 24 metres deep. Six other bridges had repairs to their abutments, beams, piers, shear keys, expansion joints, piles and approaches.

  • The road was realigned at Lulus bend and built up 1.5m higher than the original level to protect the road from flooding from the Mason River. 

  • Other sections of the road were vulnerable to further slips, so retaining walls and rockfall protection have been installed.

The team celebrated the completion of works with a community BBQ in Waiau to thank locals for their support. 

Waiau is where the final major bridge repair was recently completed. Several bridge piers were damaged in the earthquake, and the bridge has been under repair with various day and night closures since November 2019. 

One minor job remains, to improve the fish passage at Little Linton Creek. This will be completed at the end of November and there will be minimal traffic impact. The local roading maintenance contractor will complete the sealing over the summer months when conditions are optimal.