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Significant roading improvements scheduled for the Karamea Highway in February 2024

13 Feb 2024

A large-scale programme to repair sections of the Karamea Highway Special Purpose Road (SPR) will begin on 19 February 2024.

The aim of this work is to address sections of the road which have a substandard surface, where the pavement has failed or reached the end of its design life. 

This work will improve the quality of the Karamea Highway and add to its future resilience. It will also result in smoother driving conditions. 

This work is in addition to the ‘Return to Service’ projects currently underway, focused on repairing the 2021 and 2022 severe weather event damage along the Karamea Bluff.

The areas that will receive a make-over are divided into three sections, located between Tidal Creek No. 2 Bridge and the Karamea township. A total of 3.41 km will be repaired across these three locations.

Contractor Avery Brothers Ltd will break the existing road surface, widen the road at some sites and renew the sub-surface material before resealing and reinstalling the line marking at each of the three sites.

The project is estimated to cost $1.895M excluding GST and will be funded by Waka Kotahi via the 2021-24 National Land Transport Fund.

The Karamea Highway is one of two Special Purpose Roads (SPR) on the West Coast which are fully funded by Waka Kotahi.

The SPR status was reconfirmed in October 2023 and will now continue for another three years covering the 2024/2027 National Land Transport Plan period.

This entitles the roads to 100% funding assistance from Waka Kotahi NZTA for all maintenance, upkeep and improvements, at no cost to Buller District ratepayers. 

The contractor is due to start work at the first of the three worksites, which is close to the Karamea township, on Monday 19 February 2024 (Site 3 – see map). The repairs are due to be completed in May 2024.

Temporary traffic management will be put in place to ensure the safety of the traveling public and staff working on these sites. Any traffic delays will be kept to a minimum and will not adversely affect travel time. 

Driveways of properties within the three worksites will also be renewed. This may cause some disruption to residents as the works progress in these areas. Council will contact residents prior to the works commencing.


 For further information please contact:
Eric de Boer
Manager Infrastructure Delivery