• Deluge forces temporary closure of Waimārama Road cycle trail

Deluge forces temporary closure of Waimārama Road cycle trail

Exactly a week after its grand opening, the Waimārama Road Cycleway has been closed due to scouring and surface damage caused by "intense rainfall". 

In response to questions from Hawke's Bay App, Hastings District Council released a response on their Facebook page.

A council spokesperson said engineering staff had assessed the cycleway following the recent bad weather and report that while overall the cycleway has fared well during the "intense rainfall", the track has incurred scouring and surface damage along some sections, including boardwalk approaches.

"Staff have made the call to close the cycleway so the construction contractor can complete minor repairs along with the remainder of the construction works once the track has had sufficient drying time to enable the necessary machinery access to the track without incurring further damage."

The spokeswoman said they expect to reopen the track inside the next fortnight. They will be putting 4-5 additional small culverts across the track in areas where there are currently no culverts. 

"It is evident through where the surface water has run and scoured that these are needed to reduce the risk of scour damage happening in future. We will also be completing additional work on the water tables around the boardwalk approaches to minimise the risk of further scouring in these areas as well.

"This work will be completed as soon as possible and will be dealt with within the existing budget provision."

The new section of off-road cycle trail, between Te Mata Road and Craggy Range winery, is part of the Waimarama Rd Cycle Trail Safety Upgrade project to improve safety for both cyclists and motorists. 

It is not the first setback the trail has encountered since construction began in late January. The trail, which has cost $717,000, was due to be completed in April, before it was pushed back to mid-late May, but a "very buoyant construction and contracting market" meant despite opening on June 15, minor work is still yet to be done. 

The spokeswoman said a small amount of final extra fencing work is being done and wayfinding signage is going to be added, as well as signage at the track intersections.