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Work underway to stabilise hillside at State Highway 1 at Pukerua Bay


Over the next few nights, the NZ Transport Agency will undertake the first stages of work to stabilise the hillside at State Highway 1 at Pukerua Bay that slipped during July’s wild wet weather. Crews will be onsite from tonight 8.00 pm to 6.00 am, until Friday 6 December.

Regional Performance Manager Mark Owen says that this work is the first step in protecting this area against future slips.

“Since the slip gave way in July, we’ve been closely monitoring it for any movement.  When things began moving again in September, we put plans in place to fix the drainage and put in a retaining wall here.

“This week, we’ll be doing initial work to clear some of the debris left by the slip, as well as fixing the exposed stormwater pipe and re-routing drainage away from the slip.  We need to do this work first, before we can get started on a new retaining wall, which will happen after Christmas.

“This work is a cost effective solution to make this vital route secure now.  The capital, the ports and the whole Wellington region all depend on State Highway 1, so we’ve got to make sure that this stretch of it can stand up to future subsidence.  And we’ll keep closely monitoring the new retaining wall to make sure it’s doing the job.”

Mr Owen says that it’s important to stabilise the hill where the slip came down now, so that the next big storm won’t cause another one.

“The Wellington region is renowned for its wild weather, so we’ve got to make sure that any vulnerable areas of the state highway network are made as resilient as possible, as soon as possible.”

Work is being done overnight to minimise any impacts on traffic on this busy road, says Mr Owen.  The Transport Agency expects to have the road fully open each morning, so drivers should not have any delays to their journey. 

Traffic management will be in place for drivers coming through the area at night.  There will be a single lane for vehicles and the footpath will also be closed.  Both traffic and pedestrians will be directed by Stop/Go signs, which will be onsite at all times.

Mr Owen is also reminding drivers to always take care when coming through roadworks.

“For your safety, for the safety of our road crews and to prevent damage to your vehicle please drive carefully and be aware of the Stop/Go signs.

“And, on behalf of the Transport Agency, thank you in advance for your patience and understanding while we do this important work in your community.”

Work to build the new retaining wall at Pukerua Bay will begin after Christmas.  The Transport Agency will publicise details of this work closer to the time.