A possible temporary closure to part of Otaki Gorge Rd, as part of the Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway works, has unsettled a resident.

The NZ Transport is looking at the road's intersection with State Highway 1 but no decisions have been made yet on temporary or partial closures.

And the expressway's estimated completion date is is expected to be pushed out again.

Carla van Zon said a closure was "completely different from the original plans" that the community was informed about when the project started and had "never been raised or featured" in planning updates.


She said the road could close for up to two months but doubted the timeframe given the last road closure in the area when Old Hautere Rd intersection with SHI was closed and a new link road built.

"This was advertised as a six week to two month job and took nine months to reopen and is still not finished over 18 months later."

Closing Otaki Gorge Rd, where it met State Highway 1, would mean residents detouring via Hautere Cross Rd, School Rd, where there's a school, and "an already dangerous and at times severely congested intersection onto SH1 in Te Horo".

"An intersection that crosses a railway line with no barrier arm.

"The school area and the exit on to SH1 are of concern and we feel could now be quite dangerous."

And the "average cost of this detour to a two-car household, allowing one return trip per car per day to Otaki Railway Station or grocery store, at the current Inland Revenue mileage rate could be up to $280 per week".

"The impact for local schools, businesses, commuters and residents in terms of time and financial expense over months is considerable in an already Covid stretched economic climate.

"The safety, time and financial impacts have not been discussed with the businesses or the community."


She felt any closure of the road was "about saving the contractor money through construction of the bridge tie-in works on to SH1".

NZ Transport Agency project delivery senior manager Andrew Thackwray said the agency and Fletcher Construction were planning future works on the Ōtaki Gorge Rd/SH1 junction.

"Options are currently being discussed and worked through with the relevant Road Controlling Authorities (RCA).

"Formal consultation with the wider community and affected stakeholders will commence in conjunction with the outcomes of these planning discussions with the RCAs.

"As part of our efforts to be transparent about the project with the community, the planning process, including the likelihood of a temporary or partial closures from early 2021, was raised with the PP2Ō Community Liaison Group, made up of community representatives, on Monday, July 20, and again at the Southern Neighbourhood Group meeting, comprising community groups from the south end of the project, on Tuesday, July 28.

"For clarity, there are and have not been any final decisions made on temporary or partial closures, for short or long periods, of the existing SH1/Otaki Gorge Rd intersection."


The agency would "continue to engage with the Community Liaison Group as further information becomes available".

Mr Thackwray said work on the expressway and shared path was expected to be completed in mid-2021.

But once the impact of Covid-19 and ongoing work on the pavement and shared path was taken into account, it was " reasonable to expect that there may be a delay of some months on this project".

"Any changes to the completion date or project costs are not yet confirmed as discussions with the builder are continuing.

"As soon as an updated contractual completion date is agreed, we will confirm any changes with the community."