As a result of storm damage, heavy rain and king tides over the past two days the Thames Coast Road, State Highway 25 has suffered significant damage, says NZ Transport Agency System Manager Karen Boyt.
At this stage, the Transport Agency does not think the Thames Coast Road will open today, however, this will be updated via social media channels if a lane is safely able to be opened later today.
“In many places seawalls have been damaged and whole sections of the road have been washed away by the storm surges which have also left the road littered with rocks and debris.
"Other areas of the Thames Coast Road have suffered upheaval of the road surface as the sea and debris have severely damaged the road surface and the underlying layers,” she says.
SH25 is currently closed between Tararu (immediately north of Thames) and Manaia.
In order to help establish access to coastal communities, Transport Agency contractors have set up a pilot vehicle convoy for residents only, which will run from Tararu through to Te Puru. Through traffic will not be permitted.
All other State Highways and Council roads around the Coromandel Peninsula are currently open.
“On Friday significant efforts by Transport Agency crews were made around the eastern Waikato to keep roads open with fallen trees and debris closing SH2 near Ngatea and SH29, as well as crews working to remove debris on the Thames Coast Road and create rock bunds to protect eroded sections of highway from further erosion.
"These crews are now all focused on the Coromandel Peninsula.
“Today we are working to assess and categorise the damage to allow us to prioritise repair work. Working with Civil Defence, the first priority is to restore access to Thames Coast communities and open the road to at least one-lane.
“We encourage people who can avoid this area to stay away from SH25 so crews are not impeded and keep highways for emergencies and residents only use.
“There are currently seven crews working along the Thames Coast Road, SH25, to start rebuilding rock walls and clearing debris. We have three crews working on repairing rockwalls and four crews using graders, excavators and broom trucks to clear debris.”
How to stay up to date:
• The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions nationwide is www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic
• Tararu to Manaia: http://www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/roadclosures/196925
• Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency's official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here https://www.nzta.govt.nz/contact-us/connect-with-us/
• Thames Coromandel District Council facebook updates here https://www.facebook.com/ThamesCoromandelDistrictCouncil/
• Drivers can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to the call centre team who can provide them with traffic and travel information either before they're travelling or when they're on the road.