Going places: Increased SH38 and SH2 access for communities in the Wairoa area


Waka Kotahi says tireless work from local contractors has seen increased access on two key routes in the Wairoa area today, with State Highway 38 reopening from Wairoa to Tuai and State Highway 2 reopening between Wairoa and the Waikare River, where the bridge was destroyed during Cyclone Gabrielle.

State Highway 2 is also open from the other side of the Waikare Bridge, through to Tūtira, where the road is closed to all traffic, including residents and emergency services, due to significant slip and rockfall risks.

Regional Manager Maintenance and Operations Jaclyn Hankin says the helicopter sluicing works over the weekend successfully dislodged loose soil, boulders, rocks and trees that were at risk of falling onto the road, with work continuing to remove some of the more stubborn rocks and boulders.

“Crews will then move in to clear the material off the road, and we hope to have an update in the next few days about what the means for access for emergency services and local residents.

“Wairoa has been, and continues to be, a key priority for Waka Kotahi. We know how important it is to the communities in the area to restore as much access as we can, as fast as we can do so safely, particularly as it’s likely to take up to three months before the road between Wairoa and Napier can be safely reopened to the general public.

“Local contractors have worked tirelessly to help reconnect people to essential services, such as food and healthcare, to get kids to school, to run businesses and to stay in touch with friends and whānau.”

Ms Hankin asks everyone to please adhere to road closures and other traffic management, and to follow the directions of crews on the ground.

“Where roads are closed, it’s to help keep everyone safe. It also helps us to get the work done more efficiently, ultimately restoring access faster."