This winter a succession of rain and snowstorms have caused significant damage to our roads and their supporting infrastructure.
Damage has been particularly bad in the Tekapo catchment, but other areas have also seen worse-than-expected damage.
Well-established climate change information tells us that extreme weather events are going to be more frequent and more severe. At a meeting on 9 August 2022, Council agreed that the need to repair the current damage gives us an opportunity to make some improvements and increase the resilience of our network and its ability to handle future events.
Council also asked staff to prepare a business case to go to Waka Kotahi (New Zealand’s Transport Agency) to support a request for an increase in the roading subsidy we receive to support this repair and improvement work. This would mean that for the first $350,000 we spend we would receive a 51% subsidy, and for anything over that, we would receive a 71%. Indications are that the total spend needed for basic repairs is about $3.5 million. An additional $1 million is needed for the improvement work.
We are committed to completing the business case, planning the work, and completing the repairs and improvements within this financial year, which ends June 2023.
In the meantime, we are working on making all our roads open and navigable. While this means travel around our district will be unimpeded, there will be areas where there are temporary repairs that are not a full reinstatement of the road to pre-winter conditions.