Roadblock to Special Rigs run removed

Special rigs line up at Dunedin’s Edgar Centre in 2016, ready to take special kids on a memorable...
Special rigs line up at Dunedin’s Edgar Centre in 2016, ready to take special kids on a memorable journey around the city. PHOTO: BERT HOLMES
This year’s Special Rigs for Special Kids event came dangerously close to being cancelled for the third year in a row, but has been saved with the help of the Dunedin City Council and its contractors.

The annual event aims to provide a memorable experience for children with special needs, by taking them on rides in large trucks before ending up at a venue where food, drink and entertainment are provided.

Event co-organiser Greg Inch said this year’s run was in jeopardy because the route the trucks had traditionally driven was to be blocked by roading developments in Green Island’s main street.

The road would be closed to all traffic from early August to September.

"Bypass options will not work for the trucks, as height and narrow streets are too dangerous for them and our special passengers.

"Going over the motorway in a 100kmh speed zone is not possible with a queue of trucks waiting to take the off-ramp, and the extra cost of traffic management or other options is too costly for our budget.

"Due to the popularity and size of the event, it has restricted our route options."

However, the DCC and Fulton Hogan had moved "heaven and earth" to make it possible for this year’s convoy of trucks to travel through Green Island.

"After coming to a bit of a roadblock while planning the route, the people responsible for the site are opening it up especially for the trucks.

"They are going out of their way and with a lot of effort and planning to make this happen, as concrete will be poured the day before we pass through.

"As one of the organisers of this event, we are really grateful for the support and effort.

"It can only happen in Dunedin. You have got to love this city and its people."

He said Covid-19 restrictions had caused the cancellation of the event in the past two years.

"It’s been a long time between drinks. It will be great to be back on the road — the city needs this event."

More than 250 trucks and their drivers, some from as far away as the North Island, are expected to join the run, which starts at the Edgar Centre at 11am on August 28.



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