New bridge to reopen soon
Council road contractors have finished pouring the deck on a $500,000 upgrade to Waitewhena rail over bridge north of Ohura due to reopen soon.
The bridge is part of council’s wider economic development programme that aims to open up the productive potential of Ruapehu’s primary producers, forestry and tourism sectors.
Ruapehu Land Transport and Economic Development manager, Warren Furner said investment in land transport has long been council’s biggest expenditure item.
‘‘We recognise that enabling our communities to capitalise on their potential is dependent on having access to an efficient, effective and safe road network.’’
The new Waitewhena rail over bridge is one of four major bridge projects, along with a large culvert replacement on the Whangaehu Valley Rd, that council would like to see completed by the end of this coming summer,’’ Furner said.
Other bridge projects on the drawing board are the Mangateitei Rail over bridge near Ohakune, the Mangaparoa Rail over bridge near Ohura and the Poro-o-tarao bridge past Waimiha that required repairs in February following damage from heavy vehicles.
A recent NZ Transport Agency Investment Audit in June identified that Ruapehu communities were investing what they could afford into their road network but the local affordable contribution level was under what was necessary to maintain the network in a good condition.
Furner said in the past council had successfully argued Ruapehu needed to have the Funding Assistance Rate set at the highest possible level to maximise the districts contribution to the government’s growth agenda.
‘‘The 2014 NZTA review of FAR subsidies saw Ruapehu’s FAR set at sixty three percent then rising by one percent per annum until it reaches the maximum FAR of seventy two percent in 2023-24.
‘‘Responding to the Investment Audit council has now written to the NZTA requesting that the gradual one percent per annum transition to the seveny two percent FAR subsidy be brought forward to start from next year and that the Ohakune Mountain Rd and Bruce Rd at Whakapapa retain their one hundred percent subsidy.’’
A frosty start to the week saw a number of vehicles sliding off the road due to icy conditions.
Fortunately there were no injuries when a vehicle lost control on the ice and went over a bank on the Hiwi Hill. TUESDAY, JUNE 27 Displeasure over the cost of a bill resulted in a female being trespassed from a local business.
Police attended a domestic between a father and son after the son took a car which was later recovered.
Wednesday 28th . A very quiet day with no incidents reported. THURSDAY, JUNE 29 A young male, who was evicted from his father’s house, was found inside and subsequently trespassed from the address.
A driver and two children were taken to Taumarunui Hospital for observation after their car went over a bank after driving over black ice on Oio Rd. FRIDAY, JUNE 30 Ice on a S-bend near the Hiwi’s caused a vehicle to leave the road resulting in moderate injuries for the driver. SATURDAY-JULY 1 A horse on Symonds Rd was returned to its paddock.
Unlawful hunting of a deer was reported. Firearms were seized from an unlicensed female.
In the evening the driver of a vehicle fell asleep, crossed the centre line and crashed into an oncoming vehicle. Fortunately there were no injuries but the driver will be appearing in court on careless driving charges.
Two domestic incidents were also attended. SUNDAY, JULY 2 A small tree overhanging the road on Hospital Hill was dragged to the side of the road. COMMUNITY MESSAGE Police are encouraging motorists to take some simple steps to keep themselves and others safe on the roads as large numbers of Lions fans travel over the coming weeks. Road Policing Inspector Peter Mckennie said many international visitors will stop off at tourist spots along the way.
‘‘It is important not to allow frustration to lead to risk taking.’’
Workers put the finishing touches to the new deck on the Waitewhena rail over bridge that is due to reopen early July.