Slip re­pair a wind­fall for Kawakawa pro­ject

The Northland Age - - Local News -

The slip that has closed the road be­tween Kawakawa and Opua has had an un­ex­pected wind­fall that will speed up Te Hononga, the cul­tural and tourism hub planned on the Kawakawa Hun­dert­wasser Park.

NZTA is us­ing dy­na­mite to move thou­sands of tonnes of loose soil still threat­en­ing to come down on State High­way 11 near Kawakawa.

A huge slip has closed the high­way at Lemon’s Hill since Fe­bru­ary 13, forc­ing mo­torists trav­el­ling be­tween Opua and Kawakawa to take the long way around via Pakaraka and Puke­t­ona.

NZ Trans­port Agency sys­tem man­ager Steve Mut­ton said there was still a sig­nif­i­cant amount of earth and rock sit­ting above the road­way, which would now be brought down the face of the slip us­ing ex­plo­sives.

Blast­ing start this week and would help get the road open as quickly as pos­si­ble.

He ex­pected traf­fic would be al­lowed through in two to three weeks time.

“Our crews are work­ing as fast as safely pos­si­ble, given the com­plex­ity of the slip, the dif­fi­cult ac­cess and the weather in­ter­rup­tions. We’re con­scious of the im­por­tance of the link to the Bay of Is­lands for lo­cals and tourists and we’re work­ing to re­open the road as soon as we can.”

The slip has proved an un­ex­pected boon for Te Hononga, the cul­tural and tourism hub planned on the Kawakawa Hun­dert­wasser Park be­hind the town’s fa­mous toi­lets.

Last month the pro­ject re­ceived the fi­nal $2.3 mil­lion needed from the Gov­ern­ment’s Pro­vin­cial Growth Fund.

Now site works are get­ting un­der­way months ear­lier than planned, thanks to what pro­ject co­or­di­na­tor Lau’rell Pratt called a win-win solution for the Kawakawa com­mu­nity.

More than 3000cu m of soil cleared from the Lemon’s Hill slip will be trucked in to Kawakawa for the pro­ject’s earth­works, sav­ing the pro­ject money and speed­ing up the re­open­ing of SH11.

Half the car park be­hind the Hun­dert­wasser toi­lets and the coun­cil ser­vice cen­tre has been fenced off to al­low the fill to be brought in. Al­ter­na­tive park­ing is avail­able be­hind Ham­mer Hard­ware, next to the Hunter Star Tav­ern and at the cor­ner of SH1 and SH11 in John­son Park. Te Hononga (‘the join­ing of cul­tures’) will in­cor­po­rate a vis­i­tors’ cen­tre, pub­lic li­brary, coun­cil ser­vice cen­tre, gallery, art work­shop, toi­lets and park­ing for cars and buses.

EARTH WORKS: Dy­na­mite is be­ing used to clear this big slip on Lemon’s Hill be­tween Kawakawa and Opua, with the soil be­ing used to speed up a Kawakawa de­vel­op­ment.

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