Last updated: Thursday 9 February, 3pm
The next phase of our response
It's been a big week for us, there's still work to be done but we've made some good progress. We've evaluated the situation and we're confident that we can take this response into its next phase. What this means is we're not going to be doing daily updates here anymore or on Facebook, unless something major changes. We'll still be in direct communication with certain residents but our crews are purely focusing on the mahi ahead of them.
We're still here though, you can call us on 0800 926 732 to report anything.
Thank you to everyone who helped us work through this weather event, whether it was reporting a road slip, clearing your neighbour's gutter or offering your help - we really appreciate it and we're so proud of our communities.
MetService forecasters closely watching Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle.
Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle, currently in the Coral Sea, is forecast to track southeast towards Aotearoa New Zealand over the next few days. It is forecast to be located to the north of the country on Sunday 12 February 2023. There is still uncertainty with the exact path Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle will take, but if it is close to the north of the country this could lead to a significant weather event with wind, rain and swell.
Please keep an eye on the MetService website for updates and if you're able to, download the Red Cross Hazard App - it sends you any hazard warnings for saved locations.
There is still plenty to do with our teams busy responding to all the events. We’re working closely with Westlink to continue to do our best, where we can, in indicating road reopening timeframes. We will be making specific contact with those affected by the road closures on No.4 Road, Wairoa Road and Lund Road.
For now, please report any slips, fallen trees etc on 0800 926 732. It's the best way we can get all the details we need.
- Lund Road - Open. A priority give way in place until further notice.
- Wairoa Road from the Crawford Road intersection down past the Bay of Plenty Coast Rowing Club - now has a single lane (30km/h) priority giveway in place. WestLink worked overnight to build an asphalt bund next to the slip (diverting the water away from the underslip) and built a single lane into the side of the bank to provide this single lane.
- Te Puna Station Road - closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists for the foreseeable future, due to new underslips, overslips and material across the road. We are aware of the Ōmokoroa wastewater pipe that runs below the road. This has been assessed and there are no concerns at this stage. The road is open from Te Puna Road to the intersection with Teihana Road intersection. Waipuna Hospice has access to their facilities from State Highway 2.
- Washer Road bridge - Works on the bridge have been delayed with contractors starting works next week to excavate, and place rip rap boulders, filter material and aggregate. Closed
- Luna and Chard Road intersection – flooding. Priority Give Way Installed
- Omanawa Road near #255 – overslip. Cleared
- Belk Road (approx. 2km along road) - overslip. Cleared
- Waitoa Road (near #107). Large tree down blocking one lane. Tree cleared from road. To return to remove debris
- Papaunahi Road – flooding on both sides of the road. Directional signs up.
- Kaiate Falls Road (approx. 1km up) - overslip and tree down. Location signed and coned. To be cleared at a later date
- Lund Road (approx. 4.4km) – overslip covering one lane. Cleared
- Whakamarama Road (approx. 890m from start of road) – overslip. Coned and will be cleared at a later date
- No 4 Road, Te Puke - overslip covering lanes. Has been cleared from road and debris will be cleared at a later date
- Turntable Hill Road – overslip. Resolved
- Poripori Road (near Kumikumi Road) – overslip blocking ½ road. Resolved
- Poripori Road near #10 - slip. Resolved
- Josephine Place, Ōmokoroa. Footpath collapse near cycle path. Has been inspected and temporary fencing has been installed until further investigation carried out by Council. This informal dirt path has been established by locals wanting to connect to the main Ōmokoroa to Tauranga Cycleway. Council has plans to construct it to an acceptable standard over the coming months
- Te Puke Highway (between Bell Road and Welcome Bay Road) – tree down blocking 1.5 lanes. All cleared.
- SH29 is closed from the Ruahihi power station area to Cameron Road. Diversion through SH2 but please note Karangahake Gorge section at risk of closure also due to rising river levels
- Belk Road, Omanawa Road and Poripori Rd all have slips, so cordons have been put in place with a very long detour.
- Collins Lane/Te Puke Highway – flooded has gone down now and traffic is back to normal. We'll keep an eye on this.
- A bridge on No.4 Road, Te Puke has been washed out. This is just upstream of the Raparapahoe Stream. There are a number of residents affected and we are working closely with them on a possible emergency access track. See below for more
- No 3 Road - Various slips on this road. Currently open but might close following Geotech assessment.
- Taumata Road before Dekker Road – Slip blocking road. Road open
- Harray Road near #63 – slip blocking the whole road. Working on it
- Waitao Road near #63 – flooding across the road. We’re checking this out.
- Ngamuwahine Road – significant slip. Slip is cleared and it's open again.
- Work Road, near Hickley Road - slip covering both lanes. Cleared
- Te Puke Quarry Road is now closed from Reid Road to Rocky Cutting Road due to a slip and trees until further notice
- Upper Ohauti Road by the bridge - overslip blocking one lane. Resolved
- Te Matai and Reeves Road - slip covering one lane. Te Matai has been cleared but still need to clear Reeves Road. Cones have been placed in the meantime
- Welcome Bay Road near #900 - Overslip blocking one lane. Resolved
- Oropi Road near #641- underslip. Working on it
- Oropi Road 1 lane Bridge from the SH36 end – Bad scouring under bridge. We're waiting for a structural inspection. Bridge closed
- Oropi Gorge Road between Pyes Pa Road (SH36 ) and Gluepot Road - closed. Aiming for 8 February to re-open
- Oropi Gorge Road 1km past intersection of Oropi Gorge Road and Pyes Pa Road - slip. Working on it
- Loop Road - tree down on bend. Coned off and have trimmed the tree to allow access one lane access for now
- Manoeka Road (5.km up)- underslip. Working on it. This doesn’t affect those impacted by the No.4 Rd bridge washout
- Upper Ohauti Road near #1167 - Priority give way in place
- Reeves Road near Te Matai Road - overslip. Resolved
- Rocky Cutting Road has had several slips and issues along the road. It's open but there is a priority give way around #387 and some coned areas so drive carefully
- Harray Road near #63 - overslip blocking two lanes. Working on it
- Old Kaimai Road between #403 and the bridge - underslip to one lane. Geotech will need to assess this once rain clears. Closed
- McPhail Road bridge - bridge beam. Working on it
- Ridge Road - tree down blocking both lanes and powerlines. Powerco is looking into this.
- Tatai Road - flooding. Resolved
- Rotoehu Road on the gravel part - underslip. Looking into it
- Junction Road near Crawford Road- overslip. Working on it
- Turner Road just after the SH2 turn off - underslip. Working on it
- Minden Road near #160 - overslip. Working on it
- Stockton Road near #143 - large tree blocking both lanes. Working on it
- Old Coach Road near #622 - Overslip blocking half of one lane. Working on it
No 4 Road bridge, Te Puke
We estimate about 30 properties located upstream of the bridge are impacted by the bridge being washed out.
We have made contact with as many of those affected as possible and ask that neighbours check on each other to share the latest news if they know someone might be unaware. If you have not been contacted, please flick an email to email@example.com with the subject line: "No 4 Road Resident Contact Details".
Providing access and monitoring the welfare of these residents is a priority for us. But given the water levels, sodden grounds and other contraints we have to explore a number of access options.
Originally, we planned to install a Bailey Bridge. However this past week’s continuous rainfall has meant the ground conditions are saturated, resulting in:
- Geotech and engineering assessments located more tension cracks on the southern embankment - increasing in frequency and crack width, including in the pavement and adjoining berm
- This added concern around the ground’s capacity to support the loading from the proposed Bailey bridge. An excessive load may contribute to lateral movement of the soil mass.
And as a result, these assessments have advised that ground conditions don't have enough strength to support a Bailey Bridge installation and its foundations.
Now we'll have to install longer and larger piles to support the bridge and foundation conditions - so we open on Thursday 9 February anymore. This more extensive piling is expected to add 4-6 weeks to the installation and completion of the bridge. This development will allow us to investigate whether we can allow more than light vehicles and single unit trucks across the bridge.
The Bailey Bridge structure is rated to 50Max. However, the allowable mass and dimensions of vehicles on the Bailey Bridge will be limited by:
- The length of the bridge and resulting turning radii on the approaches.
As we said at the beginning of the bridge washout, the installation of a Bailey Bridge is everchanging and totally dependant on the site conditions. We know that these developments will cause some logistic concerns with the upcoming kiwifruit packing season. Seeka have provided us an indicative timetable for the upcoming harvest – number of orchards, volumes and anticipated truck and trailer movements. At this stage the first harvest is scheduled for the second week of March. We've factored this all into our planning and priority to meet this timeframe.
Further geotechnical investigation will be undertaken during the weekend to allow our designers to finalise the bridge foundation design.
In the meantime, the private accessway may continue to be used for essential light vehicle travel, noting that the bridge structure near Manoeka Road is not rated for heavy vehicles. We're monitoring the condition of the private accessway daily and will carry out maintenance as necessary.
We completely understand how much of a set back this is, but please understand that there are many factors contributing to the situation, and we are working as hard as we can to reinstate some more solid transport options that are safe and will reduce the disruption this has caused.
Due to the significant amount of rainfall we had in our District in recent days, the Katikati wastewater system has become inundated with stormwater which caused its capacity to be exceeded.
As a result, we are currently experiencing overflow issues in the Katikati wastewater treatment plant, there is also evidence that some treated wastewater has entered the harbour.
We're working on resolving this issue, but for now please stay clear of swimming and collecting and eating shellfish from the area. We will get some warning signs at the water’s edge installed as soon as we can.
Some of our team have spent the morning placing sandbags around our primary storage pond in preparation for the forecast rainfall. This is so we don’t have untreated wastewater spilling over onto the surrounding land.
We will keep everyone updated with our progress.
Swimming after heavy rain
It’s best to avoid swimming in rivers, streams, lakes, harbour areas and at beaches for at least 48 hours after heavy rain. There is likely to be contamination from rural and urban run-off in waterways after heavy rain. To avoid illnesses such as diarrhoea, vomiting, skin infections or ear infections, follow the rule of thumb of no swimming for at least 48 hours after heavy rain.
Reserves and mowing
Like the rest of our rohe, a few of our reserves have been impacted by the wet weather, such as Kaiate Falls, Donovan Park and Gerald Crapp Reserve.
While they need some attention, our priority right now is our roading network and working to open as many of our roads as possible.
Plus, we don’t want to go into these reserves and cause more damage due to the damp state they are in.
The same goes for reserves mowing. Record rainfall and the increased humidity equals long grass, but this will mean things might get a bit scruffy for a short period of time.
For now, please don’t go exploring any closed reserves – we know it’s tempting but it’s ultimately for your own safety.
If you need to report any damage to reserves, please give us a ring on 0800 926 732.
We know it's tempting to go exploring and look at the damage etc but please don't. We don't want anyone putting themselves in danger by pulling away barricades to go look at slips.
Your mental and emotional wellbeing is important. It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious during or after an emergency. But there are things you can do to feel better.
You can text or phone 1737 to speak to a trained counsellor. They can help if you:
- need support or advice
- have feelings of anxiety, stress, prolonged fear, hopelessness or anger, or
- you just need to talk with someone.
Lastly, please always phone in the first instance. It's the easiest way we can log any requests and get the right teams out if we need to. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and the number is 0800 926 732. This goes for flooding, slips, fallen trees etc.
Follow Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Waikato BoP for SH updates, MetService New Zealand for weather, BOP & Taupō Police and Bay of Plenty Civil Defence for civil defence advice.