Work on a section of State Highway 4 near the Auraki Stream will be completed by the middle of December.
The Auraki Stream Retreat Project is the last major repair to be completed on Parapara Rd after the June 2015 floods and has involved relocating SH4 away from the Managawhero River due to a large underslip.
Earlier in the year, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency held a planting day at the site.
Senior project manager Malcolm Chiles said the project had progressed well with the new road complete and resurfaced and with more trees, shrubs and grasses planted since the planting day.
“These plants now line the rocks down the hill which form the bed, down which a small stream flows,” Chiles said.
During the project, this small stream north of the Auraki Stream was diverted to allow for the construction of the realigned state highway.
A separate branch of the same stream was also diverted long before the project commenced.
With work on the road completed, both branches of the stream have been redirected to their original channels.
Mana whenua from Ngāti Rangi led a karakia to reinstate the streams this week.
Part of the work at the site involved digging out a 55-metre hillside to make way for the new road.
Chiles said the northern gully next to the road, which was filled with the dirt from the hillside, now had grass on it which was growing well.
While work on the road is completed, motorists travelling through the area will notice there’s still a lower speed limit with cones in place.
“These will be gone from the site mid-December when the project is officially completed and a plaque marking the work will be uncovered on a boulder on the roadside,” Chiles said.
The project had been essential to ensure SH4 remained safe for all users, resilient and future-proofed.
Ngāti Rangi worked in partnership with Waka Kotahi on the project.
“We would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the support of the community during this period, the contractors, and our partnership with local iwi.
“The work has been made easier because of people’s patience and understanding and we really appreciate that,” Chiles said.
Finn Williams is a multimedia journalist for the Whanganui Chronicle. He joined the Chronicle in early 2022 and regularly covers stories about business, events and emergencies. He also enjoys writing opinion columns on whatever interests him.