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Wairamarama bridge repair to significantly impact local community

Essential repairs to the bridge that links Wairamarama to Onewhero and further north will be carried out from Monday 9 October, causing disruption to the local community for a couple of weeks.

The bridge, on Waiaramarama-Onewhero Road, by the Ponganui Road/Allan & Eyre Road crossroads, has been damaged by the flooding events of this year.

Our roading partners Waikato District Alliance (WDA) needs a full bridge closure for about two weeks to do the work needed to ensure the bridge is safe and more resilient in the future.

The bridge will then be open with stop-go controls until the repair is completed.

Due to the nature of the work required, the project is weather dependent. Please be aware if there is heavy rain forecast for the scheduled construction period, the project may be delayed.

Due to the fact that this work has a significant impact on the local community, Council, WDA, Counties Energy, Waiaramarama Rural Hub and the local community have been working together to address the following issues.

Detour Route via Matakitaki Road

The alternative route for vehicular traffic to enter/exit Wairamarama will be via Matakitaki Road and
State Highway 22.

The route is a gravel road and narrow so please drive carefully.

We acknowledge that the detour route will add to journey times, but it is the best route available.

Click here to for a larger copy of the detour route.

Pedestrian Bridge & Parking

Preparations for the repair will start this week and include the installation of a pedestrian bridge across the Opuatia Stream, near the main bridge.

Some residents may choose to park a second vehicle on the roadside on the north side of the bridge, and travel to commitments from there during the closure.

Be aware that parking space will be limited due to contractor activity and the narrow approach to the bridge.

Parking in the yards on the left hand side of the road as you head to Onewhero is by landowner permission only.

If parking on the north side is critical for your work commitments, please contact Kate Reese of the Wairamarama Rural Hub at for more information.

School Transportation

Monday 9 October is the first day of school Term 4. There are 20 school-aged children living in the Wairamarama who attend Onewhero Area School and a few who attend other schools.

Onewhero Area School students and teachers will be able catch the school bus to/from school while the bridge is closed. Pick up/drop off to catch the school bus will be on the north side of the bridge
(8.10am pick up, 3.40pm drop off).

Pedestrian access will be via a temporary footbridge installed near the main bridge across the Opuatia Stream. The bus will turn around in a private driveway about 200m north of the bridge, clear of contractor activities.

Students and teachers of other schools will need to make alternative transport arrangements, or investigate the possibility of learning/working from home.

Onewhero Ag Day is scheduled to take place at Onewhero Area School on Saturday 14 October. Participating Wairamarama families will have to travel with their animals to Onewhero Area School via Matakitaki Road for the event.

Electricity Supply

The bridge repair is complicated by power lines spanning the Opuatia Stream near the bridge.

There is a scheduled power outage for Monday 9 October, between 9.00am-4.00pm. It’s our understanding that Counties Energy is taking the opportunity to replace a pole near the bridge that day.

Other than the scheduled outage, electricity supply will continue during the work, thanks to a very large generator which will power the community when needed, during the repair.

Emergency Services

The Onewhero Volunteer Fire Brigade is aware the bridge will be closed for repairs. Their First Response team is prepared to provide emergency medical assistance to the Wairamarama. Fire and police services will support our community from Te Kauwhata and/or Huntly. In the event of an emergency, please call 111.

Council thanks the Waiaramarama community for their patience and understanding during this critical work.

Our thanks go to Kate Reese of Wairamarama Rural Hub for collating information and working with us, WDA and other key stakeholders ahead of the bridge repair work to keep the local community informed.