Deviation decision still a month away
A final decision on controversial plans to move the highway through Kaiko¯ura could be another month away.
New Zealand Transport Agency project manager Mike Blyleven said more consultation would take place over the next month, with a decision on the proposed Kaiko¯ura State Highway 1 deviation likely at the end of October.
NZTA would continue to engage with iwi, affected parties and the Kaiko¯ura District Council to help with the final decision, he said.
The Kaiko¯ura District Council and NZTA released a proposal to deviate SH1 to improve safety and manage traffic flows around the busy intersection with Ludstone Rd and West End, and Whaleway Station Rd.
Following a review of possible solutions and discussions, NZTA and the council recommended a 500-metre deviation along Lyell Creek to join Beach Rd opposite Kaiko¯ura Top 10 Holiday Park.
Many affected business owners and residents were angry plans to change the route of SH1 was released in July before they were consulted.
They were further aggrieved when an Opus surveying team and Spray Marks Traffic workers were spotted working on the intersection at SH1, Ludstone Rd and West End and further along opposite the Kaiko¯ura Top 10 Holiday Park.
They said the Kaiko¯ura Deviation was a ‘‘done deal’’ because the survey work had been carried out a week before the submission deadline on August 25.
At a Kaiko¯ura District Council meeting on August 23, 12 residents confronted councillors, upset the council was not taking responsibility, saying it needed to advocate for the community.
Blyleven said NZTA acknowledged many people were critical of the limited timeframe for the consultation at a stressful time for Kaiko¯ura.
‘‘The Transport Agency apologises for this but given the Government’s provision of $231 million for enhancement work through Kaiko¯ura and along State Highway 1, we needed to seek the views of the community urgently to consider this proposal alongside the other earthquake restoration work being undertaken along the coastal route.’’
More than 160 submissions were received by the closing date on August 25.
NZTA was assessing feedback raised from the the submissions, including alternative options and suggestions to improve the proposal and NZTA was pleased with the responses and the wide ranging views offered, Blyleven said.
While slightly more people opposed the realignment proposal than supported it in part or full, the majority agreed the proposal would provide safer access for everyone.
A number of people were concerned about the number of trucks that were travelling along Beach Rd, and suggested that a bypass of Kaiko¯ura should be built instead.
Others were concerned about the properties that would be affected by the new road deviation, the possible impact on other businesses and the changes in local road connectivity, he said.
The proposed deviation of SH1 would go straight though this home and business on Ludstone Rd.