Monday roading update: Langs Beach Bridge, Cove Road and other key roads Mangawhai area

27 Feb 2023, 5:30 PM

Contractors working on the Lang’s Beach bridge on Cove Road have encountered further challenges, delaying the reopening of the bridge until Wednesday morning.

Northland Transportation Alliance Maintenance & Operations Manager Bernard Petersen said as the contractors had excavated to repair the abutments at each end of the bridge washed out in Friday’s weather event, they had found the soils to be more saturated than expected due to high groundwater levels.

“They’ve had to excavate more than expected, and consequently backfill more than expected,” said Mr Petersen. “We’re now intending to have this bridge open by Wednesday morning (1 March) – we realise people have been looking forward to it happening sooner and we’re sorry for the additional day of this impact on their lives.”

The reopening of the Langs Beach bridge will restore an important link for those who live and work around the area; however the official reopening of Cove Road as an alternate route while State Highway 1 remains closed in the Brynderwyns will have to wait until Friday.

Mr Petersen said there were other issues on the route. “Our team have been through Cove Road this morning having a broader look and have found a number of other sites of concern – mainly where the road shoulder has been washed out and the road surface has been undermined.

“We’re re-allocating resource from other sites to the repairs. Most of them are fairly easy and can be addressed with rock spall or bench backfilling. It’s all about getting the water off the road and protecting the weak road shoulders.”

This work will take place between now and Friday, with contractors progressively completing a smaller number of sites in sequence, rather than starting a large number at once.”

Further south on Cove Road on the Mangawhai side, there is still a slip to be cleared from Cove Road near King Road. The start of work on this is reliant on giving power company Northpower the opportunity to complete the relocation of a high-voltage power line around a landslip.

Saturated soils have also slowed repair work on the underslip on the Kaiwaka-Mangawhai Road near the Hilltop Road intersection. Mr Petersen said the contractors have finished the excavation phase and are now backfilling and compacting their way up to the road surface. Originally expected to be completed by midweek, this will now also reopen on Friday.

He said both this and the Langs Beach bridge will open with unsealed surfaces. “As unsealed sections on otherwise-sealed roads, they’re not going to look pretty but they will be easier to maintain in the short term. If we seal them and there’s still ground movement underneath, it creates re-work which is in no-one’s interests at the moment.”

Contractors and machinery at bridge repair.

Contractors working on the Lang’s Beach bridge on Cove Road.