Further erosion of road by sea

Beach Rd crumbles as coastal erosion takes its toll. Photo by Sally Rae
Beach Rd crumbles as coastal erosion takes its toll. Photo by Sally Rae
The link between Oamaru and Kakanui along Beach Rd has been cut again because of erosion from heavy seas on Sunday.

Yesterday, Beach Rd between Gardiners Rd and Thousand Acre Rd was closed as the sea eroded the cliff right to the edge of the seal about 200m to 300m north of the intersection.

Traffic is being diverted along Gardiners Rd to rejoin Thousand Acre Rd. It is the latest in major erosion along Beach Rd, which has seen part of it shifted further inland, major protection work on another portion, and the road reduced to a single lane at the intersection with Thousand Acre Rd.

Yesterday, the council's assets committee recommended $500,000 be spent on work at the Beach Rd-Thousand Acre Rd intersection to restore it to two lanes.

But roading assets manager Gary Woock showed photographs of new erosion north of the intersection since Sunday.

As soon as councillors saw the photographs, they ordered the road be temporarily closed immediately. Mr Woock used his cellphone after the committee meeting finished to order the road signs be put up.

Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said there was a ‘‘potential disaster with tragic consequences'' if the road was not closed immediately. Cr Jim Hopkins said: ‘‘It must be done now - now.''

Contractors closed the road about 3pm yesterday.

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