Devastated by the December rain event the road to Totaranui and Awaroa has become a talismanic road for the area with its restoration a positive sign of recovery and resilience.
The effects of the road closure were very keenly felt by the Golden Bay community with a number of businesses quoting a significant drop in revenue as directly attributed to the road’s closure over the Christmas period.
Current estimates have the costs for opening the road estimated to be less than $2 million, however, this figure may change a result of more information being gathered once the work starts.
The decision to reopen is, however, not just business focused as the road provides a lifeline for a number of communities with the rest of the District and provides access to one of the country’s iconic destinations.
"The Tasman District Council acknowledges the pivotal role of the NZ Transport Agency in this decision”, said Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne. “While the road is a Council responsibility it is fully funded by the Agency as a Special Purpose Road.”
“It is immensely gratifying that the Agency has seen the significance of the road for the community and the country amidst the other priorities they are dealing with such as the Manawatu Gorge, Auckland and Christchurch.”
NZ Transport Agency Regional Director Jenny Chetwynd said the NZTA was aware of the importance of the road to the region’s tourism industry and the economy, and the agency is keen to help restore access to this popular camping area.
“We share the public's frustration about the extensive damage to the road to Totaranui, and we're working closely with the Council to identify a solution for providing reliable public access.
“Given the special purpose status of Totaranui Road, the NZTA will be funding work to restore access to this area. We're looking at this as part of the overall recovery package for the Golden Bay area, which is being funded from the NZTA's Emergency Works fund.”
The Council and our contractors will begin work shortly with a view to having the road open within a few months.
“In celebrating the impending opening of the road people should be aware it is going to take more than driving a bulldozer down the old track. Each section will need to be evaluated to ensure any risks are adequately managed,” concluded Mayor Kempthorne.