Roads may cost $200,000 to fix

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Salvage mission… Chris Robinson salvages waterlogged hay bales from a paddock near Galloway Bridge. PHOTO: MALCOLM TAYLOR

Central Otago District Council estimates it may cost as much as $200,000 to repair flood-damaged roads in the region following heavy rainfall during the weekend.

Council roading manager Murray Hasler said repairs were already under way, although weather conditions would have a significant effect on progress.

“The effects of the storm have been widespread and significant.

“Damage to sealed and gravel roads in the Maniototo area was widespread. In the Manuherikia, St Bathans and the Ida Valley were the localities worst hit.”

The council’s main priority was to restore access to roads with the highest number of travellers, he said, although there were some exceptions.

“Roads which provide sole access for caregivers to access people who are dependent on their visits are an example.

“Restoration of access to critical infrastructure such as a power station or water treatment plant, both of which may affect large numbers of people, also have high priority.”

The $200,000 damage estimate provided the New Zealand Transport Authority was “very rough”.

“This may vary significantly. The availability of materials for repairs and access to sites at this time of year may make repairs more difficult and costly,” Mr Hasler said.

“The heavy snowfall which occurred immediately after the rain has slowed the assessment of flood damage in some areas.”

An application has since been lodged with the Ministry for Primary Industries seeking a medium-scale adverse event designation for Otago.

Mr Hasler said school bus routes had been altered in some areas and road closures would have a “significant effect” on people, but he asked residents to be patient while work was carried out.

“Council and its contractors are acutely aware of the impacts that the disruption to travel [caused by] our closed roads is having on individuals and communities. If you are affected and you have an extraordinary reason why your road repair needs to be higher priority please contact the roading team at the council.”