Waharau community cut off by slip and bridge closure
The East Coast Road is CLOSED at the Waharau Bridge due to the northern bridge approach being undermined by the Waharau Stream. Contractors are on site. Waharau residents now have pedestrian access only. The bridge will be closed for approximately two weeks while the assessment and repair are made.
Update Wednesday 12 April 5.30pm - The repair work at the Waharau bridge has gone much faster than expected and is now opened to one lane for residents only. Both lanes of the bridge will be opened tomorrow.
The East Coast Road is also blocked by slips approximately 1.7km north of the Waharau bridge blocking access to/from the Waharau community north of Waharau Regional Park, cutting off all vehicle access from that direction.
For information about access to communities north of the Hauraki District (e.g. Orere Point, Kawakawa Bay) please contact Auckland Council.
If the Waharau Bridge closure affects you but you missed the community meeting at Waharau on Saturday 8 April, you can view the list of questions and answers below for an update on the situation so far.
Questions and Answers
Why is the Waharau Bridge closed?
The Waharau bridge itself is structurally sound but the road at the northern approach to the bridge has been undermined by the flooded river. Part of the road has already collapsed and there is a strong likelihood the rest of the road would collapse if subjected to regular or heavy traffic.
What is the Council doing about it?
Our engineers are approaching the repair work in two stages. The first stage is already underway and involves fixing the bridge and ensuring the road is safe. Stage two will focus on remedial work further upstream to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
How long will it take to restore road access?
All going to plan, it will take about two weeks to fix the bridge and restore road access. This is currently our main priority, then we will focus on stage two in more detail and be in a position to share more information with you.
Foot access will be possible during most of the first stage construction work. However, there will be a three or four day period beginning Tuesday 11 April when the bridge will be inaccessible. To allow restricted pedestrian access we’ve built a portable foot bridge that can be slotted into place. However, as work will have to stop while it’s in use, this bridge will only be available at the following times, except in the case of an emergency:
- prior to 9am
- 1pm – 1.30pm
- 5pm onwards
Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday
- 5pm - 8am
- 1pm – 1.30pm
Please note – these times may change depending on the weather and work progress. We’ll update you if there are any changes.
We understand this is an inconvenience for many and appreciate your patience while we work to restore road access.
What about the slip north of Waharau?
There is a large slip about 1.7km north of the Waharau Bridge in the Auckland District. Our knowledge of this slip is limited but we believe it is substantial and may take a few weeks to clear. We are currently trying to source more information about this from Auckland Council.
What if there is a medical emergency?
Emergency services are aware of the situation and have advised us a rescue helicopter would respond in the event of a medical emergency.
What if there is a fire?
A full-sized fire appliance is too heavy to cross the bridge under the current circumstances so the fire service has located a small appliance with portable equipment on the south side of the bridge. In an emergency this will be taken across the bridge but it has limited fire-fighting capability in terms of water volume so residents are asked to be vigilant and light no fires whatsoever until complete access is restored.
During the three-day construction period when the bridge is completely inaccessible, the appliance will be located on the north side of the bridge.
Will my rubbish be collected?
We have arranged for refuse bags to be collected from the south side of the bridge on Wednesdays (your usual collection day) at approximately 10am. As bags will need to be transported across the bridge, please bear in mind the restricted access times this Wednesday (12 April).
How will I receive updates from the Council?
We’ll post regular updates on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/haurakidistrictcouncil and here on our website.
We’ll also send email, text or phone updates to those who’ve indicated they would like to receive them. If you are affected by the closure and would like to receive updates but haven't yet been contacted please phone the Council on the number below to pass on your details.
Who should I contact if I have any issues or concerns?
In an emergency call 111
For other issues call the Council on 0800 734 834