Closure of the SH25 Bridge at Kuaotunu

Monday 14 October

Update from TCDC on the incoming weather event: https://www.tcdc.govt.nz/Your-Council/News-and-Media/News-and-Public-Notices/News-Articles/Severe-weather-warning-for-the-Coromandel1/

Of special note regarding the parking at Kuaotunu while the bridge is closed: "The reserves either side of the foot bridge will be boggy and may in fact flood so we’re asking these residents to relocate their vehicles to higher ground for the next couple of days if they’re parked in the current designated spot,” says Mr Towler.

Higgins advised they will continue working on the Kuaotunu River Bridge as long as it is safe, they have a plan to get through the weather to ensure the opening is not delayed.

Friday 11 October

There have been no official updates from TCDC or NZTA today.

However please note that with the Tuia 250 celebrations taking place next weekend and the Kuaotunu bridge still likely to be closed, the community-minded Go Kiwi bus company has advised KRRA that it is considering sponsoring two additional bus services from Kuaotunu to Whitianga on Friday 18th October, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th. These would leave Kuaotunu at 10:30am and 11:30am, and return from Whitianga at 2:30pm and 3:30pm.

In order to decide whether to proceed or not, it would be very helpful for Go Kiwi to get a feeling for how many people would be likely to use these additional services. Please contact Go Kiwi directly if you are likely to want to use these services. 

Tuesday 08 October

TCDC has advised KRRA that an additional free shuttle bus service between Whitianga and Kuaotunu is starting tomorrow (Wednesday 9 October).

The bus will leave from outside the Whitianga iSite at 11:30am to go to Kuaotunu, and leave from the Kuaotunu Fire Station to go back into Whitianga at 12 noon.

So those who want to go into town early from Kuaotunu can catch the 8:30am bus to town and return at 11:30am. Those who want to go in for the afternoon can catch the 12 noon bus in Kuaotunu and return at either 4:30pm or 5:30pm. 

TCDC have also advised that "Repairs to Kuaotunu River Bridge are making good progress, with forecasts looking like it could be open in advance of Labour Weekend."  Read more here.

Friday 04 October

From TCDC's Facebook page:

"It’s been another week of good progress on the Kuaotunu River Bridge repair. Roading company Higgins reports sheet piling is completed on the northern side of the bridge, ready for the concrete pour on Monday. Piling on the southern side will start on Monday, with a concrete pour planned for late next week. Work to reinstate the deck of the bridge will then start.

The concrete pour can only be done at low tide, so there could be heavy truck movements in the early hours. Lighting on the footbridge is in place, with lights turned on at 5:30am and off at 10pm daily. Security guards are patrolling the area throughout the night.

Remember, there’s a free daily shuttle bus running between Kuaotunu and Whitianga. This departs outside the fire station at 7:30am and 8:30am and returns at 4:30pm and 5:30pm."

And in response to a question about whether the bridge might be closed for longer than 5 weeks:

"The contractors are still on target and confident that the job will be completed within the five week timeframe."

Friday 27 September

TCDC have announced that a free shuttle service between the Kuaotunu Fire Station and Whitianga will begin on Monday, 30 September, leaving at 7:30am and 8:30am and returning at 4:30pm and 5:30pm each day.

For more details, including the progress that has been made on the bridge repair to date, please read their press release.

Friday 20 September

A Community Meeting was held on Friday 20 September to discuss the closure of the SH25 bridge at Kuaotunu from 8am on Sunday 22 September for up to 5 weeks. The meeting was facilitated by Brent Page of KRRA with assistance from Gary Towler, TCDC's Civil Defence Controller.

The main points were:

  • While this roading project is subject to weather conditions, it is hoped the repairs will be completed before the 5 week deadline.
  • The project involves removing the floor of the bridge in order to improve the piles and put in place a second skin that will hopefully prevent further erosion issues.
  • A temporary bailey bridge was considered by the roading contractors but found not to be practicable.
  • Using Wade Rd as an alternative route is not possible due to the volume of forestry harvesting being undertaken on this route and the associated risks of this.
  • The emergency services have made resourcing adjustments to ensure they can cope with any emergencies that arise.
  • Post and courier services will continue as usual.
  • Jannine Verner of Kuaotunu Katchup offered to set up a Facebook group to facilitate car pooling (see Kuaotunu and Surrounding Communities will Travel).
  • The meeting expressed interest in a bus service being set up to run from Kuaotunu to Whitianga; Jannine offered to run a poll on the new page to guage interest in this.
  • Gary Towler is going to check with Higgins to ensure that no services (such as telecommunications) are affected by the bridge repairs.