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Source: Far North District Council

A construction method now being used to stabilise a significant slip on West Coast Road in the North Hokianga could halve the cost of similar repairs. 

Instead of building a conventional retaining wall, wire mesh is being used to retain a hillside near the junction with Motuti Road. The mesh is held in place by a series of steel anchors driven deep into the bank using specialised machinery. 

General Manager – Infrastructure and Asset Management, Andy Finch, says the Council is always open to exploring innovative and cost-effective methods of maintaining the district’s extensive road network. 

“Our geology makes us particularly vulnerable to slips and these can be expensive and time-consuming to repair. This technique can significantly reduce the time required to complete repairs and also uses fewer materials. That means costs can potentially be reduced by as much as half, while achieving similar levels of stability as traditional retaining methods.”

He says it is the first time the machinery required for the mesh and anchor technique has been available in the Far North. “We hope to be offered this option again by contractors tendering for slip repairs and have already awarded a similar contract to repair a slip on Broadwood Road near the Mangamuka junction.”

He says work will begin at that slip later this month.