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Counting the cost, again

Counting the cost, again
Flooding on Lyndhurst Road, north of Line Road, on Sunday. PHOTO GLENN YOUNG.

As the floodwaters recede, the cost of yet another clean up on the Ashburton District's roading network is still unknown.

The extent of damage to the roading network will take days to tally from the latest heavy rain event to batter the network.

Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown said there were 40 local roads still closed due to flooding around the district on Monday morning and that figure steadily reduced throughout the day.

“The roading contractors have been out assessing the state of the roads.

“It’s for a safety perspective as we don’t know what’s sitting under that pooling water, it could be perfectly good road or washed away and so they need to asses that.”

One Mid Cantabrian may be in a spot of hot water, however, after taking matters into their own hands.

The council is investigating after a member of the public allegedly used a tractor to dig out a trench on Reynolds Road, to allow water flow.

Council chief executive Hamish Riach said it was not legal to dig up a road without permission.

"Council learned about this after it had been done and is now investigating."

Brown was aware of the incident and said contractors were on site on Sunday night to put up warning signs following the “stupid act”.

A report on the total damage suffered by the roading network will be prepared for council consideration.

The council previously had to fund the additional cost of emergency works resulting from the July 2022 heavy rain event.

An application for emergency works funding was submitted to Waka Kotahi with an estimated cost of $2.5m. Waka Kotahi approved $2,308,317 of funding, with the council picking up the tab for a further $932,602.

State highways have also been impacted and Waka Kotahi has warned that while the surface water is receding, motorists should still expect to encounter some surface flooding, potholes, and debris, particularly south of Ashburton on State Highway 1 and on some inland routes.

“Road crews are out and about, working hard across the region, and as flood waters and river levels drop over the next few days, more staff will be out assessing the damage and planning repairs,” a Waka Kotahi statement said.

By Jonathan Leask