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Workers clear debris and install soil nails and mesh on the cliff face. Photo: SUPPLIED/WAKA KOTAHI

$6m Ruamahunga Bay fix almost complete

Cliff stabilisation work at Ruamahanga is almost complete, and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Authority said the newest slip, which occurred on June 10, will not impact the road’s scheduled reopening. 

State Highway 25, also known as the Thames Coast Rd, is due to be restored to two lanes at the end of June. The road has been a construction site at Ruamahanga Bay since October 2023, with traffic management in place to keep a single lane accessible to the public. Periodic full closures of the road have been a regular occurrence, as helicopters have brought in and removed supplies and equipment from the top of the slope throughout the works. 

The $6m recovery project, made necessary after 2023’s storm events in January, February and June, has seen workers clearing debris and stabilising the cliff to prevent further landslides at the site. Waka Kotahi said its team has removed around 2500 tonnes of material from the slope, as well as installing over 500 soil nails and around 1500 square metres of mesh. 

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The June 10 slip, 500 metres down the road from the main slip site, saw a large tree fall 30 metres down the bank onto the road, closing the road for most of the day. The tree root, weighing over 20 tonnes, was removed late that evening and the traffic management cordon was extended to include the new slip site. 

Meanwhile, SH25 has been fully reopened at Te Kouma, Pumpkin Hill and Whiritoa Hill after the underslips were repaired. 

Construction of a sea wall alongside the highway at Kuranui is planned to begin by the end of June, and work to repair highway damage near Kuaotunu, Pumpkin Hill and between Hikuai and Opoutere is expected to be underway from August. 

SH2 through Karangahake Gorge is also expected to be restored to two lanes at Victoria Battery by Matariki weekend, once construction on a new retaining wall is completed.