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An ex-cyclone caused damage to roads across the Coromandel. Photo: TCDC

Mayor calls for ‘urgent’ work on highways

Thames-Coromandel’s Mayor has written to the Prime Minister’s office calling for long-term solutions to the state highway “pressure points” that experience problems every time there’s heavy rain.
In the wake of ex-Cyclone Hale, which caused damage throughout the eastern side of the Peninsula, Mayor Len Salt said he wrote “to the highest level of government” – the office of the Prime Minister – to pitch the district’s case for urgent work on state highways.
Mayor Salt said some roads were currently unable to withstand the regular storms the district faced.
“I’ve also urged the government to prioritise funding for sealing the 309 and Tapu-Coroglen roads. When other roads close in bad weather, these narrow, winding gravel roads face pressures of traffic they’re not designed for – such as heavy trucks or cars towing caravans and boats,” he said.
“I’ve emphasised that it’s a crucial safety issue. We’ve done the feasibility studies and have the costings.”
Mayor Salt also said he has been keeping in touch with Kieran McAnulty, the Minister for Emergency Management, on funding for the council’s long-term storm clean-up.
Staff were preparing final costings for that, he said.
“Although it’s been a rough start to the year, we’re a resilient lot. It’s great to see the return of summer and people getting a chance to get out and about and boost local businesses.”
Following the storm, a sizable crack appeared along the popular Kōpū-Hikuai Rd on State Highway 25A.
The fissure is being closely monitored by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency, and the road continues to be under stop/go management and closes overnight from 7pm.
Thames-Coromandel District Council earlier said the highway could close again at any time if the condition of the road changes to make it unsafe.
DETAILS: Before travelling, check Waka Kotahi’s website: or phone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) for the latest information. Updates will also be posted on TCDC’s Facebook page.