The finish line is finally approaching for the 8.1km Nukumaru Station Road extension and upgrade - eight years after the project was first mooted.

It runs from a new intersection on State Highway 3 - between Pākaraka and Waitōtara - to Waiinu Beach Rd.

South Taranaki Mayor Phil Nixon said construction was basically complete, but the road wouldn’t be open until February next year.

Legalisation of the new stretch process wasn’t finished.

“Linz [Land Information New Zealand] has to go through and make sure every property title is sorted and everything is perfect.”

He said once that was completed, the council needed to start “road stopping” on a section of the existing road that wouldn’t be used anymore.

Road stopping is the legal process to change the status of a road to freehold land.

“It’s a frustrating process, but one we have to follow,” Nixon said.

Linz is responsible for geographical information and surveying functions, land titles and managing Crown land and property.

Once open, the road will provide better access to and from Waiinu Beach and the Silver Fern Farms meatworks, which were temporarily cut off following flooding at the Limeworks Bridge on Waiinu Beach Rd in 2015.

That was the fourth time in 26 years the bridge had to be closed for a significant period.

In April, South Taranaki District Council approved an extra $2 million in loan funding for the project, taking the total price tag to just over $12m.

Two-thirds is being funded by central government.

Nixon said the Christmas break didn’t help the speed of the process.

“We get a lot of people asking about when the road will open. I got a text over the weekend from a mate of mine who passed by and asked why it was blocked off.

“You get a lot of rumours - it’s because of this or because of that - but it’s only around the legalisation.

“Apparently, a plane landed and took off on it quite a while ago. It didn’t have to enter or exit off the main road, either.”

Nixon said it would have been nice to have the road open right through summer, especially for caravans heading to Waiinu Beach.

“It’s taken a hell of a long time to get here. This was mooted in 2015, so we’re coming into [it eight] years later.

“We’ve entered the home straight.”

Mike Tweed is an assistant news director and multi-media journalist at the Whanganui Chronicle. Since starting in March 2020, he has dabbled in everything from sport to music. At present, his focus is local government, primarily Whanganui District Council.

2023-12-06T17:47:03Z dg43tfdfdgfd