Te Whāiti Road has been restored sufficiently for it to be reopened to all traffic, as from 5pm today.
The Whakatāne District Council would like to acknowledge all of the local communities which were affected by the closure, and to thank all residents for their tolerance, patience, understanding and very strong support as we have worked to reopen the road over the past 12 weeks.
We also acknowledge and thank all of the contractors who have been working continuously for the past 12 weeks to clean up and repair the many damaged sections of Te Whāiti, Minginui, Ruatāhuna and Waikaremoana Roads.
Sincere thanks also go to Timberlands Forest Ltd for providing access for the local communities through their forest roads over the road closure period.
While the roads in the southern-most part of the District are now open for public access, drivers need to be aware that there is still a lot of repair work underway along the whole route, up to and beyond Ruatāhuna, and also on Minginui Road. Contractors will be continuing to work on the remaining repair jobs for a further 6-8 weeks.
Motorists should still expect to encounter work-sites with traffic control, and there will be occasions when they will face short delays. There are also a number of sections of road that need to be resealed, but this work cannot be done till the spring or early-summer, when conditions improve.
Parts of the road, while driveable, will still be a little soft and slushy, and there are still multiple areas where caution and careful driving will be required. Road users are reminded to at all times to:
- Drive to the conditions,
- Ensure you are able to stop within half the road length you can see ahead of you;
- Drive with your headlights on day and night;
- Watch out for contractors on the road;
- Expect the unexpected and drive safely.