'Impressive' local effort restores street

The main road into Moeraki is set to reopen in three weeks' time.

Haven St has been closed to through traffic since August 2013 when a 350m to 400m section collapsed following heavy rain.

The road is being rebuilt as part of a push by the Moeraki community to reopen the road because of concerns about the width of the alternative route via Tenby St and that visitors were having problems finding their way to local restaurants and accommodation providers.

A group was formed to work with the Waitaki District Council and manage offers of help and material from local people to tackle the work under the supervision of an engineer and work on the road began in February.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the rebuilt section of street was ''very impressive''. He was ''blown away'' by what had been a ''fairly unique partnership'' between the Waitaki District Council, the Moeraki community and local contractors.

''Numerous community members have done so well getting the road to this stage.''

He did not believe so much work had ever gone into the stretch of road, which had been notorious for slips for many years.

''Time will be the real test, of course. This work has been the chance to give it our very best effort. If this doesn't succeed, I'm sure that nothing will, short of spending millions on it.''.

The project started as a challenge the mayor gave to the community at the meeting at the Moeraki Marae late last year.

''They more than met that challenge.''

An NZTA subsidy was not available for the road, and the district council offered to help pay if the community matched it in cash or in kind.

In the end the council would have spent about $60,000 of ratepayers' money on the road.

He was keen to publicly acknowledge the huge impact the Moeraki community had made.

Waihemo Community Board member Jane Carlyon, of Moeraki, said local contractors had been ''magnificent'', with Moeraki and East Otago contractors donating machinery and equipment for the work.

Local residents contributed money and support, including morning teas for the workers.

WDC roading engineer Michael Voss said the plan was to reopen the road by the end of this month.

The work involved draining and rebuilding the land

from the road formation down to Miller Bay below Haven St.

He expected the stabilised section would last 20 years.

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