SH59 to re-open on 15 September

Waka Kotahi updates us on the state of SH59 and its imminent opening.

Photo: Waka Kotahi

Contractors are now clearing the major roadworks site on State Highway 59 north of Pukerua Bay ahead of its reopening on Thursday 15 September 2022 at 5.30 am.

The section of the state highway between Paekākāriki and Pukerua Bay has been closed since 19 August following a series of slips on the route.

Mark Owen, Regional Manager Wellington and Top of the South, says the slips were substantial. The slope’s stability posed a real risk, so it was decided it was best to do a long-term fix to give the highway maximum protection.

“The size and scope of this work have meant the closure has lasted weeks, not days. However, the earthworks that have been done, the new slope benching built, and other associated improvements mean this this stretch of State Highway 59 is much stronger and better protected for the future.”

Photo: Waka Kotahi

Fixing the Pukerua Bay slip zone

Improvements at the slip zone saw:

  • Around 60 staff from 20 different sub-contracting companies working at the site over the last three weeks. The work site was operating 24/7 over the final few days.
  • Around 25,000 cubic metres of material removed (this included helicopter work)
  • The construction of benched slopes (similar to those in Ngauranga Gorge) to help mitigate any future slips.
  • Installation of streetlights, safety barriers and painting of new road markings.
  • Cleaning and maintenance of adjacent culverts, weed spraying, vegetation/tree clearing, and road sweeping.
  • An estimated $3-4 million is being spent on the project. Exact costs are being finalised.

Mr Owen says contractors have put in an immense effort to complete the job as quickly as they have.
“We appreciate the closure has been inconvenient for residents and road users. However, we took the opportunity to do extra road maintenance work in the closure zone. This will help reduce the amount of work needed in the area over the coming year.”

State Highway 59 will reopen to all traffic at 5.30 am on Thursday, 15 September. There will be a 50 km/h temporary speed limit in place, covering the slip site and an adjacent area where footpath repairs are being done. This work will continue in the area over the coming weeks.

Paekākā is a community-built, funded and run website. All funds go to weekly running costs, with huge amounts of professional work donated behind the scenes.  If you can help financially, at a time when many supporting local businesses are hurting, we have launched a donation gateway.