Latest update from DOC
Kia ora koutou,
Another update on the progress of the DOC tracks and facilities in the Whanganui District. Since the last update we have had four staff start work with our Taumarunui team on a 6 month contract through Work and Income NZ. These staff bring us much-needed capacity to assist with the end of the clean up and will enable us to undertake more work maintaining the Journey over the summer season.
· All facilities except John Coull and Ngaporo campsite are open. Target to have these facilities open is still 1st October as planned
· John Coull Hut; work is still ongoing on with the digger and hand tools, we expect this to be completed within the next 10 days. Temporary toilets will be flown to the site over the next week.
· Ngaporo campsite; this site will be cleared with hand tools rather than a digger after work is completed at John Coull. The campsite will have a reduced capacity this summer, the exact reduction has not been formally decided yet. It is hoped that temporary toilets will be operational this site before October 1st.
Bridge to Nowhere track
· The track is now officially open, though small amounts of cleanup work are still being carried over the next week. Toilets are being repaired and two picnic tables will be placed above the bridge in the coming months.
· Repair work is complete from the Ruatiti road end to the bike park (Bartrum’s). Be aware that this is still settling down and will be muddy in places
· The team of five Pipiriki contractors did a fantastic job clearing slips on the cycle-only section of track
· A small digger is being flown to Battleship Bluff next Monday to complete the section around Battleship Bluff
· We are waiting on two bridges to be replaced between Bennett’s clearing and to the Bridge to Nowhere, we are aiming to have the bridges on the cycle trail installed by the start of November. We are waiting on approval to see if we can open the track before these bridges are in place (a dismount and short carry of bicycle would be required for riders)
· It is important to note that further slips and debris on the track are likely, particularly after rain. We will continue to tidy the track once it has reopened, with our priority being to get the track open to a safe standard for cyclists as soon as we clear Battleship Bluff.
· This track did not sustain much damage in the floods but remains closed due to the delay in replacing the Depot Bridge. This work is waiting on the lower section of the track to dry out so trucks can access the site.
· Vegetation clearance and minor track work is needed and will be done prior to the bridge being completed and ready once it opens.
· The track was cleared of windfalls from the Whanganui River to Mt Humphries Junction. We hope to get a chainsaw team back in to clear the rest of the track by the end of the month.
· The track is still passable with the 3 slips to be cleared by end of November