A group of “muppets” who moved barriers that were keeping a section of Beach Rd closed after a large slip in Kakanui endangered themselves and others, Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher says.
A slip around 15m wide occurred about 300m north of Coast Cafe, causing a sewerage pipe and water pipe to break. As a result, a section of Beach Rd was closed at about 1pm on Saturday.
Mayor Kircher said a group of “muppets” moved three sets of barriers and gates in order to drive through it on Saturday night.
“I’m just disappointed that people are putting themselves and others at risk doing this sort of stupid thing,” he said.
Apart from being dangerous to themselves and possibly damaging the road, they also put other people at risk who may not have realised the road was closed after the barriers were moved, Mayor Kircher said.
“There is a detour in place that takes them out of their way a little bit, but not a significant amount.”
Whitestone Contracting were out on Sunday putting in a temporary sewerage pipe, as the one that was broken carried all sewage from Kakanui to the treatment pond.
Sewage would be kept in the holding pond on the Kakanui side of the pipeline until the temporary sewerage pipe was completed and would be pumped out and trucked away if needed, Mayor Kircher said.
The water pipe that was also broken in the slip only affected one property and would be temporarily fixed today, he said.
Waitaki District Council engineers needed to determine the exact cause but it looked like it could have been from heavy rain, as the slip happened in the exact place where a culvert went through, Mayor Kircher said.
Work currently being completed to connect water and sewerage pipes between Kakanui and Oamaru would not be slowed down by the slip, however the placement of the pipe might have to be slightly adjusted, he said.
Coastal Road Community Group chairman Peter Amyes said he did not believe the slip was caused by coastal erosion but by heavy rainfall pooling at a pipe which goes under the road.
“With the amount of rain we have had, water has spread into the bank,” he said.
The slip was unfortunate but should not affect the council’s commitment to keeping the road open, he said.
“It is unfortunate that it has happened.”
Kakanui resident Jim O’Gorman said he was not affected by the detour but had noticed fewer campervans in Kakanui.
They usually had a large number of campervans arriving in the evening which were important for the Waitaki economy as they brought money into the town, he said.
Kakanui Rural Fire Service deputy Tim Bell said he found the slip at about 1pm and the fire service had blocked the road by 1.15pm to wait for SouthRoads to close it off properly on Saturday.
“We’re just here to assist with the road block.”
A detour is in place along Seadown Rd and Fortification Rd.
By RUBY HARFIELD
PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD
SLIPPING AWAY: Coastal Road Community Group chairman Peter Amyes said the slip at Kakanui was most likely the result of heavy rainfall.