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Clearing the way on SH25 between Materangi Rd and Kūaotunu. Photo: SUPPLIED/WAKA KOTAHI

State Highway 25 reopened across Coromandel

State Highway 25 is now open around the entire perimeter of the peninsula thanks to the huge efforts of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s local contractors, Waka Kotahi said. 

“For the first time since Cyclone Gabrielle cut off access on Monday, people living in settlements such as Coromandel and Whangapoua, can travel for essential purposes,” said Waikato system manager Cara Lauder. 

The road re-opened from Thames to Matarangi around the east coast on February 15, but slips remained between Ruamahunga Bay and Tapu on the Thames-Coast Highway and between Te Rerenga and Kūaotunu.

“Our focus today was on clearing the remaining slips, but it was a huge job. We are thrilled that the team has done it and we’ve been able to restore access to communities that have been isolated for days. We appreciate how hard this must’ve been for everyone,” said Ms Lauder. 

“We thank the people of Coromandel and visitors for their patience at a time of extreme stress and fatigue.”

Contractors continued work to clean up the roads, but the effort is ongoing and caution is advised.

“Driving remains hazardous. Please take it slowly. Many areas are reduced to one lane. There is still slip material, rocks, trees, mud and debris on the road,” said Ms Lauder. 

SH25 Te Rerenga to Kūaotunu was closed at 9.30pm last night and reopened in the morning.

“For safety reasons, we do not want people driving through this section in darkness,” Ms Lauder said.

“Coromandel road users should be prepared for disrupted travel for some time. Contractors will be back at work tomorrow and may have to close sections of SH25 for periods of time again if required.”

Priority access will be given to emergency services including supplies and fuel.