SH 59 will not be re-open on Monday 12 September. There is more work to be undertaken. Waka Kotahi has provided the below up-date
Crews are working 24 hours daily to get State Highway 59 between Pukerua Bay and Paekākāriki reopened next week.
As of this morning, Friday, 9 September, 19,000 cubic metres, approximately 2500 truckloads of earth has been removed from the site as part of slip remediation, and slope benching works. Another 6,000 cubic metres, almost 800 truckloads, is to be removed this weekend.
Weather permitting, earthworks will be completed early next week.
The final part of the operation will be clearing the work site, installing edge barriers and reinstating the road before reopening safely to the public, which will take an additional 2-3 days.
On Monday, 12 September Waka Kotahi will provide an update on the expected timeframe for reopening the road.
After the success of this event at the last Local Body Elections we are doing it again. Candidates for PCC Mayor, Parirua Maori Ward, Pauatahanui General Ward and GWRC Porirua-Tawa Ward have been invited to introduce themselves to the community then face up to questions (feel free to send a question to email@example.com but do indicate if it’s aimed at Mayoral, Regional or PCC candidates).
The meeting will be in the School and Community Hall starting at 7 pm and finishing at 9 pm with the opportunity to mingle and talk more to the candidates after the Q & A session.
Waka Kotahi has provided a further update. It is anticipated State Highway 59 will re-open Monday 12 September if work goes smoothly.
SLIP CONTROL, PUKERUA BAY HILLSIDE SAFETY PROJECT: UPDATE 2 September 2022
Since Friday 26 August,excavators have cleared the unstable overhang above the slip face and relocated the spoil using multiple trucks. Excavators are working at the top and bottom of the hillside to remove vegetation and soil to create a slope that will be stable long-term, rather than do a quick temporary clean-up. Benches (steps) are being formed along the hill to capture debris, like the benches seen on the Ngauranga Gorge hillside. Approximately 15,000 cubic metres will need be removed – that’s over 2300 truckloads of earth – with 7000 cubic metres already having been removed as at Thursday afternoon 1st September.
Multiple crews are working 10 hours a day, seven days a week to complete the safety project in as short a time as possible to minimise the impact on people’s journeys. To minimise customer impact from our maintenance activity for the next year, the closure between Pukerua Bay and Paekākāriki has been used by many crews to undertake scheduled maintenance work, such as road and barrier repairs, high risk tree removal and pruning along with drain clearing.
Work has also started on making the Pukerua Bay lookout at the top of the hill safe, where two slips have undermined footpaths.
When can the road reopen to the public?
It is hoped that the road could reopen on Monday 12 September 2022, if all goes smoothly. The safety project team continue to assess the site daily to seek potential opportunities to allow limited public access past the site. Meanwhile the road remains closed to all users.
Occasional planned and carefully coordinated escorts for any train replacement buses is occurring when needed, to maintain this vital link for people. Limited access has also been maintained between Pukerua Bay and Paekākāriki for cyclists and pedestrians who are able to use Pukerua Beach to access the path at the bottom of the hill. However, they need to exercise caution for the uneven surface and high tides.
Thanks for your patience and understanding while this essential work is carried out.
The next update on the re-opening of SH59 between Paekākāriki and Pukerua Bay will be provided on Friday 2 September. From Wellington NZTA:
The hillside continues to be assessed daily to ensure safe access to cyclists, vehicles and pedestrians can be restored. Residents can continue to access Pukerua Bay from the south and Paekākāriki resident access is from the north. All other road users to continue using SH1 as an alternate route.
We know these works are inconvenient and thank the community for their patience!
Waka Kotahi has provided an update on the measures being taken to lessen the threat of further slips. This work is going to several weeks. The opening of Transmission Gully provides an opportunity to undertake remedial work that would be a far more difficult undertaking were the route still State Highway 1.
SLIP CONTROL, PUKERUA BAY HILLSIDE SAFETY PROJECT: UPDATE 26 August 2022
A hillside safety project is underway to help prevent further slips on the State Highway 59 coast road leading up to Pukerua Bay. Wellington Transport Alliance crews are removing a large overhang of soil and trees above the slip face to prevent further slips. A deep fracture in the ground behind the overhang at the top of the hill means this area is very unstable and could break away at any time.
The road between Fisherman’s Table and the northern end of Pukerua Bay has become a worksite and must remain closed for everyone’s safety, not just because of the risk of a slip but because of the machines operating in the area. The safety project could take some weeks, depending on conditions. The hillside diagram, shown over the page, illustrates the overhang and the fractured ground and highlights the work that is planned to reshape the hill and prevent further slips.
Multiple works, including road and barrier repairs, tree pruning and other maintenance, are taking place to make the most of the closure.
The hillside is being inspected daily to assess when pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles can be allowed back in the area. Meanwhile, pedestrians and cyclists can use the Pukerua Bay off-road beach walking track to bypass the works but must exercise caution for high tides and weather conditions. The soft beach sand and the slope leading up to the layby at the bottom of the hill make for difficult going, particularly for cyclists. A fenced-off path has been created around the layby to keep path users safe from moving machinery. The path beside the seawall north of the layby can be used and we ask people to stay on the path and not to walk or cycle on the road as work trucks and machinery are using the area.
Since the slip on Friday 19 August, the coast road between Fisherman’s Table and Pukerua Bay has been closed for the clean-up and to protect road users if there are further slips. It will be closed for a few more weeks for hillside safety works to reduce the risk further.
The road has become a worksite with barriers to keep people out for their safety.
Please do not enter the slip control works area on the hill.
People using the off-road beach walking track to bypass the works can use the path beside the seawall to head north once they leave the layby at the bottom of the hill.
Please do not walk or cycle on the road north of the layby as work trucks are using the area and road repairs are also being done. Stick to the path.
A path has been created from the beach walking track around the layby at the bottom of the hill with a barrier to keep you safe from moving machinery.
Access via the beach walking track depends on the weather and high tides. Please exercise caution.
We will continually monitor the situation to see when it will safe for pedestrians and road users to return to the road past the slip area.
State Highway 59 between Paekākāriki and Pukerua Bay will remain closed following a further slip on the route this afternoon.
The highway was closed by a slip this morning. However, a second slip came down this afternoon, further blocking the road.
At this stage, the slope is too unstable for the route to reopen, and it will stay closed overnight. An update on its status will be provided by midday tomorrow, Saturday 20 August.
Road users should avoid the area and use State Highway 1, Transmission Gully, as an alternative route.
Bad weather continues to affect Wellington. Slips, rockfalls, and fallen trees are dangers on roads across the region. Road users should drive to the conditions, watch their following distances, and keep an eye out for road hazards.
Pukerua Bay shared pathway improvements due to start September 2022
PCC has provided the following information:
Work to continue upgrading the shared pathway through Pukerua Bay is due to start next month.
This work is Stage Two of a project that began last year and will include upgrades to the intersections at Pukerua Beach Rd / Haunui Rd / SH59 and Wairaka Rd / SH59 (See layout plans 4, 5, 6).
As budget allows, other improvements proposed will be delivered in the following order:
Haunui Rd zig-zag path realignment (moving bottom of path away from road) – Layout plan 8
Shared path widening (Haunui Rd to Pa Rd) – Layout plan 9
Pedestrian drop ramp on Haunui Rd (to provide a connection to the zig zag path) – Layout plan 7.
The work is due to start by mid-September (the exact start date is still being worked through).
Extensive traffic management will be in place for all works so residents can expect some disruptions for between 8 and 10 weeks while the works are completed.
Pukerua Bay Residents living near the works will be notified via a letter in the coming weeks.
Porirua City Council is managing the project, which is 100 percent funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency through its programme of highway cycle improvements.
Stage One of this project was completed in July 2021.
It included the following improvements:
Widening the zig zag pathway between Haunui Road and SH59 to make it easier for cyclists, particularly on the bends. This work included tree removal, re-asphalting the pathway and introducing holdrail in places
Improved pathway directional signage from the lookout at the northern end of Pukerua Bay to Porirua Railway Station
Pedestrian improvements through the northern lookout site.
*NB: In response to resident’s requests, extensive conversations were had with Waka Kotahi about installing a barrier or similar at the bottom of the zig-zag path to stop an errant rider from landing on SH59, however the barrier needed to be able to be compliant for vehicle drivers and not just provide protection for cyclists which meant that what was suitable for protecting cyclists was not safe or acceptable for the road environment and passing traffic. We have therefore opted to remove a couple of trees at the bottom of the zig-zag and widen the path to improve sightlines between path users at this pinch point.