News the government will pick up the $214,330 tab for repair work on a storm damaged section of the Hauraki Rail Trail has put an early spring in Mayor John Tregidga’s step.
“We’re absolutely over the moon to hear the government will cover the full cost of this work. The Pūkorokoro-Miranda section of the Rail Trail took an absolute hammering in the storm on 5 January and has been closed between East Coast Road Bridge and Miranda Holiday Park ever since,” he said.
The Council applied for funding to repair the section of Trail from MBIE’s Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund earlier this year. The application for the full estimated cost of repairs was recently approved.
Around 2.3kms of the Trail, running along the top of a private stopbank, was washed out or undermined in the storm and is currently unsafe for riders to use. The storm surge boosted by gale force winds and a king tide whipped up waves nearly a metre higher than predicted on that day. Repairs will include future-proofing the affected section of the Trail against future storm events using brown rock to provide protection to the existing clay base. The fortified Trail and stopbank will be 2.5m high which gives reasonable protection from normal king tide events.
Ready to roll this summer
Hauraki Rail Trail General Manager Di Drummond said the project is `shovel ready’ with contractors rearing to go, but Trail construction won’t begin until October or November due to ground conditions.
“A start now would cause further damage due to heavy vehicles on a soggy track,” she said.
The damaged section of the Trail links directly to the planned final 9.8km of the Hauraki Rail Trail from East Coast Miranda Bridge to Kaiaua. Drummond said work on constructing this final section of Trail is also due to start in October or November this year so both projects will be carried out concurrently.
“Receiving this funding means the entire Trail should be ready to roll this summer. There really is no better way to experience the exceptional natural beauty of the Shorebird Coast than on the back of a bike.”