Road crumbles into sea

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Three years ago, motorists could travel all along the coastal road from Oamaru to Kakanui.

Now, due to coastal erosion, it is hard to believe a road even existed along the section of road which travelled past John Thorpe and his wife Maree’s property.

Nearly two years ago, due to rapid deterioration of the road near the Thorpes’ property, it was blocked off by the Waitaki District Council and a diversion was made onto Gardiner’s Rd.

Since then, the deterioration and erosion has been extraordinary.

“Three years ago, people were still using it (the section of road) to go to Kakanui and we still had a road there 15 months ago – now there’s nothing,” Mr Thorpe said.

“Unfortunately, the sea has taken what it takes.”

He estimated that about one metre of land was being eroded each year.

While it was too late for the road near his home, Mr Thorpe said efforts should now be made to retain the coastal road from Kakanui southwards.

“They need to look at retaining Kakanui south; that’s where all the tourists go and if you’ve got an accident on the main highway, it’s the only road between Oamaru and Dunedin.”

By CHRIS TOBIN

PHOTO:  CHRIS TOBIN

LEADING NOWHERE: John Thorpe points to the vast chasm where once the Coast Rd led to Kakanui from Oamaru.