Mon 7 Oct 19.
Mayor Don Cameron said that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) who have responsibility for the State Highway network had confirmed that they are committed to fixing SH4 as soon as possible following a major slip that has destroyed a large section of the highway just south of Raetihi.
“In addition NZTA have stated that that they will continue with the upgrade work to fix other dropouts already planned for this summer which underlines their assurances to reinstate the highway,” said Mayor Cameron.
“Council recognises that this is incredibly disruptive to our communities and businesses so are naturally very happy with NZTA’s commitment to fix SH4 asap given its economic and social importance to Ruapehu and the Region.
The magnitude and geology of the slip will probably mean that reinstating the highway will see it needing to take a different route circumventing the unstable hillside.
NZTA is currently undertaking a detailed geotechnical assessment to determine what their potential options are.
Once the technical analysis is complete we have invited them to come to Ruapehu and meet with affected businesses and farmers to discuss their findings, what needs to be done, and the time frames for fixing the highway etc.
We want people to be able to get information directly ‘from the horse’s mouth’ so to speak as there are currently a few misinformed and unhelpful statements being made that have no basis in fact and are confusing the situation.
Council is also in talks with other major stakeholders such as the Whanganui District Council and Health Board, emergency services, National Road carriers Association, etc. as part of finding a way forward.
However, until NZTA have completed the geotechnical analysis and other investigation work we simply do not know what the answers to these questions we all want answers to are.
Unfortunately what we can be confident of is that it will not be a quick fix,” he said.
Mayor Cameron added that Council was taking steps to help ensure the detour routes within its rohe were in the best possible shape to deal with the additional traffic volumes they would be seeing.
Our Land Transport Manager drove the Whangaehu Valley Rd/Fields Track and Raetihi-Pipiriki Rd/ Whanganui River Road detour routes over the weekend to identify any immediate safety or maintenance work required.
We are fortunate in that recent pavement renewal on Whangaehu Valley Rd/Fields Track has made most all of this road reasonably robust.
Council will be bringing forward the planned maintenance work on the sections still to be upgraded along with increasing patrols to monitor the how the detour routes are holding up and taking preventative maintenance as needed,” he said.
SH4 closed section.
SH4 Between Raetihi and the intersection with Fields Track is now closed to all through traffic
Detour routes – southbound (northbound in reverse).
Light traffic have two detour options as below or follow the heavy vehicle route.
- Turn left off SH4 at Tohunga Junction onto SH49, drive through Ohakune and then right onto Whangaehu River Rd/Fields Track off SH49 (about 15mins south of Ohakune), then left onto SH4 to Whanganui.
- Follow SH4 into Raetihi, turn right onto Pipiriki-Raetihi Rd to Pipiriki, turn left onto Whanganui River Rd, then right onto SH4 to Whanganui.
Heavy vehicle route
Turn left off SH4 at Tohunga Junction onto SH49, drive through Ohakune onto Waiouru, turn right onto SH1 to Bulls. Turn left on SH3 to Sanson then right onto SH1 to Wellington or right on SH3 to Whanganui.
Please note the detour will add up to 90 minutes to your journey time depending on the route taken and your destination.
Up to date information.
Please plan your journey.
For the latest road information see www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz or www.onthemove.govt.nz