Plan for coastal road strategy

Suggestions on how to deal with the effects of erosion on one of Waitaki's most scenic coastal roads will be thrown open to public consultation next month.

Waitaki District Council roading manager Michael Voss said as part of the council's draft annual plan consultations, a draft coastal roads strategy setting out proposals for future management of the coastal route from Oamaru to Waianakarua would also be made available for public feedback.

The council was forced to close a 200m section of the southbound lane on Waianakarua Rd when a 60m section of the road shoulder slipped into the sea in December.

However, Mr Voss said a strategy had to be in place before any decision on the road's long-term future could be made.

''Funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is a major issue, as current levels are insufficient for the extent of work required to keep the coastal roads open indefinitely.

''Without a strategy in place for the management of the coastal roads affected by coastal erosion, the NZTA is unlikely to commit funds to protection works or road relocation.''

He said the original consultation on the draft strategy took place in 2010 but as a result of public feedback, was not adopted.

The council decided to instead explore further options with the community, he said.

''The amended 2012 draft strategy considers the submissions received in 2010 and reflects the changes that have occurred since then. These changes include increased isolated erosion on Waianakarua Road, which has impacted on the safety of the route and raised concerns for the future, and the pending replacement of the Bowalley Rd Bridge.''

The 2012 Draft Coastal Roads Strategy would be made available to the public when consultation on the Draft Annual Plan 2013-14 opened on Friday, March 15, he said.

andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz