Clarence Valley access
Access to the Clarence Valley was lost following the 2016 earthquake. Access has been restored using a temporary solution. Work is now underway with residents and stakeholders to find the best long term solution.
The Clarence Valley access project is one of the most complex and challenging projects in the rebuild programme.
Latest update: Assessment complete for shortlisted access options (December 2018)
21 December 2018
Work so far within the Clarence Valley project has focused on developing a Strategic Business Case (SBC) to support the funding of any preferred solution.
Six infrastructure options for access to Clarence Valley have been identified and assessed. Two additional options have been raised, but were not assessed within the SBC. Further work would be required alongside Council’s funding partner the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to assess the feasibility of these options.
The methodology for the SBC included concept (high) level designs being prepared for each option. This enabled preliminary cost estimates for each option to be prepared and compared, alongside a range of criteria (such as stakeholder input, safety, reliability, technical, legal, meeting investment objectives, and environmental assessments of the river). This is known as a Multi Criteria Analysis and is a critical step to make sure a robust and balanced Indicative Business Case (IBC) is developed that supports a preferred option.
Currently, Clarence Valley Road and the southern access route has temporary/emergency works carried out as needed.
The information in this update was collated from a Stakeholder meeting held with Clarence Valley residents on 04 December 2018. If you would like a full summary of this meeting, please contact the Rebuild Team.
All costings for the options assessed included maintenance of the existing Clarence Valley Road.
Permanent protection works are required for all options and the scope of this work impacts the cost significantly.
The concepts and costings completed were high level and allow for a 30‐50% contingency at this stage. To provide more accurate details for any of the options below, detailed design is required and will be completed once Council decides on a preferred option.
The table below provides information for all considered options.
Capex = Capital expenditure (cost to build/construct)
Opex = Operating cost (per year)
During previous stakeholder meetings, it was communicated that a decision was to be made in December 2018. Unfortunately, the process has taken longer than anticipated and further work to fully develop the Indicative Business Case is now required before the Council can identify a preferred option. Then Council can follow its necessary decision making through a public consultation process. Depending on Council’s final decision, Council may need to amend the 3 Year Plan 2018-2021.
Clarence Valley access is a decision that may impact the whole Kaikōura community through rates, and addresses a significant loss of Council infrastructure. Due to this factor, Council’s decision-making process will need to follow specific statutory requirements of the Local Government Act for a Special Consultative Procedure, including a Statement of Proposal for public consultation across the whole district, not just for the immediately affected Clarence Valley residents.
A definite timeframe cannot be given as to when a decision will be made. Council hopes that we will be able to provide you with a Statement of Proposal at the same time as the Council’s Draft Annual Plan is released for public consultation in April 2019. This would allow Council to receive submissions, have hearings and coordinate deliberations with the Annual Plan. However the decision-making timeframe for Clarence Valley Access may take longer. Regular updates to inform Clarence Valley residents and stakeholders of the process and ask for feedback will be provided by Council as issues progress.
The SBC presented high level concepts and preliminary cost estimates on a number of options. More work is required to complete the overall assessment of short-listed options and the Indicative Business Case. The non-infrastructure option will be investigated further based on feedback from the 04 December meeting. Any preferred options will be independently peer reviewed.
Council understands this process has been long and it feels like progress is being made slowly, but due to the complex nature of the Clarence Valley access problem we need to ensure we have all possible information before engaging in formal consultation and making any decisions.
The Glen Alton Bridge across the Clarence River was damaged beyond repair as a result of the 14th November 2016 earthquake. The bridge was originally built in 1996 and was single lane approximately 125m long.
Following the earthquake, permanent all-weather access to the Clarence Valley was lost and temporary access was provided by upgrading and creating extensions to The Waipapa and Waiautoa Roads on the south bank to a reasonable four-wheel drive standard.
Access has been reliant on being able to cross the Wharekiri Stream. The valley has seen a number of changes in terms of the river course, and this is affecting access both on the north and south side of the valley.
We’re planning for short and long term solutions to improve the current security and safety of access and to meet the levels of service provided to the community prior to the earthquake.
14 September 2018
Council are currently working through the Business Case Process with NZTA to find a long term solution to providing access to Clarence Valley. This process has a number of stages and is a NZTA requirement.
We are currently in the options assessment stage. This starts with long list of options for a permanent solution that are narrowed down to a short list. The short list options are assessed to find a preferred option. A business case is then developed. This stage should be completed by the end of October 2018.
This will give residents and stakeholders some certainty over what the long term solution is. Depending on the solution chosen, it may take up to two years before it can be implemented. In the meantime, ongoing assessments will determine what temporary access can be provided.
“The nature of the environment up there really hits home that we need to continue to do what we can and make sure that we stick on the programme to get certainty for people up there as soon as we can.”
Will Doughty, Rebuild Director.
11 July 2018
Kaikōura District Council and their rebuild funding partners are currently progressing with the assessment of options for access to the Clarence Valley. The completion of a business case has confirmed the problems and potentially long-term impacts on residents, landowners, and users of the valley if they are not addressed, and has enabled Council to move forward with assessing options.
The starting point has been to further understand the risks from a geotechnical and river engineering standpoint associated with accessing the Glen Alton area on the north and south sides of the Waiau Toa/Clarence River - these have been completed.
A long list of potential solutions were assessed against a wide range of factors, and have been narrowed down to 6 shortlisted options:
- Access via Clarence Valley Road and a permanent replacement bridge in the same location as the former Glen Alton Bridge
- Access via Clarence Valley Road and a permanent bridge across the new channel (to the north of Corner Hill) to the island and then a ford across the dry bed of the former river channel
- Access via Silver Springs Road and permanent bridge upstream of the former Glen Alton Bridge
- Upgrade of the Southern access route (SAR), being Waipapa Road, the upgraded track north of the Wharekiri Stream, and Waiautoa Road, with a permanent bridge in an appropriate location across the Wharekiri Stream
- Upgrade of the SAR with a an engineered ford in an appropriate location across the Wharekiri Stream
- Upgrade of the SAR, with a bridge across part of the Wharekiri (with sections either side being washout areas in a large event) in an appropriate location across the Wharekiri Stream.
Concept level designs will now be prepared to enable the costing of each option and then allow for a comparison of costings as part of an assessment of the options (together with a wider range of parameters). This is known as a Multi Criteria Analysis and is a critical step to make sure a robust and balanced decision can be made on a preferred option.
The following diagram shows the steps in the process and where we are at present.
31 January 2018
Steering Group January Decision on the Temporary Bailey Bridge
The Rebuild Steering Group met on January 25th and considered the updated design and costs for a three span bailey bridge. This design and costs had been developed late last year and were significantly different, and more expensive, than the original design. The updated design costs were beyond the funding cap the Steering Group had originally agreed to. They also considered feedback from the Mayor and Councillors after their site visit to the area and a paper to Council on the 24th January. The full report can be found here.
As a result, the Steering Group agreed to:
(1) Defer the decision on the temporary Wharekiri Stream crossing until the outcome of Stage 2 of the Permanent Solution Business Case is known
(2) Include all possible options, such as the alternative crossing point proposed by a local landowner, in Stage 2 of the Permanent Solution Business Case
(3) Complete both stages of the Permanent Solution Business Case as soon as possible
(4) In the meantime, (as soon as possible but no later than the end of March), a dedicated ‘Management Plan’ for the existing temporary southern access to the Clarence Valley will be prepared and implemented. This will detail how Council will work with affected residents to manage the risks brought on by severe weather impacts and other issues. It will include the use of appropriate local resources to help implement the plan.
The Steering Group also confirmed that NZTA funding for ongoing maintenance of the southern access road independent of the temporary Wharekiri stream bailey bridge crossing is available until June 2020 (or until a permanent solution is completed if sooner than that date)
Although the delay may be frustrating for some residents, the Steering group believes it’s the most sensible way forward. The continued volatility of the Wharekiri and significant cost of the bridge mean that it is important that we develop the case for a permanent solution before committing significant capital investment. We will do everything we can to complete the work on the Permanent Solution Business Case as soon as possible, the current deadline is October 2018.
By March, we will have a robust Management Plan in place for the Wharekiri crossing including details of a quick local response and effective communications to affected parties.
We have had a Principal Geotechnical Engineer undertake a risk assessment for the southern access route to identify all key risks and to propose short and long term mitigation options including in scenarios where the southern access route forms part of a permanent solution. This will help inform both the ongoing maintenance work and also feed into the permanent solution business case.
Permanent Solution Business Case
A formal workshop was held in the week of the 16th January as part of the Stage 1 work. This stage defines the issues and problems and the weightings of those problems. Stage 2 will consider all possible options for a permanent solution and then shortlist a few. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to input into this stage of the work.
The target date for Stage 1 of the Permanent solution Business Case has been brought forward and is now the middle of February (formerly end of March). I’d like to remind everyone that a bridge is just one potential permanent solution and there is no guarantee of a permanent replacement bridge until we have gone through the full business case process.
Other work in the Valley
The Mayor and Councillors visited the site of the proposed bailey bridge in early January. A subsequent report on some high priority resilience improvement work to protect a section of the Clarence Valley Rd was considered on the 24th January Council meeting.
The Council agreed:
- We need to better understand the risk to the Council owned infrastructure and the scope of work required to address that risk before any funding decisions are made.
- We need to work with NZTA around funding contributions for any work undertaken.
- To send a letter to the CEO of ECan about all parties working collectively to influence the gravel extraction priorities in the Clarence and to ensure access to ECan’s latest data and modelling as soon as it becomes available.
- There are a number of complex issues in the valley that are bigger than KDC or the property owners. Working on them requires collaboration between multiple parties. These issues will be raised to the Natural Hazards Steering group to understand where responsibilities and ownership lies. The full report can be found here.
08 December 2017
Due to project developments and concerns raised at the 7 December meeting and at the Council meeting on December 13, Council met to discuss the issue at an Extraordinary Council meeting on 18 December. A site visit by Councillors is planned for early January and Council will continue to work with the Rebuild Steering Group as the project develops.
07 December 2017
Council met with access affected parties from the Clarence Valley to listen to community views and inform work on the business case. The meeting included an update on the temporary access solution being considered at the Wharekiri stream and an update on ECan’s flood modelling work.
A permanent solution is likely to be at least 2 years away. The strategic business case is due to be completed by March 2018. Options for longer term access should be completed by October 2018. If a preferred option is identified and approved, the final stages (design and construction) would take place in 2019.
29 September 2017
The Rebuild Steering Group (NZTA, the Crown and KDC) jointly agreed to install a 3 span temporary bailey bridge across the Wharekiri Stream (original proposal was for a one span). This short-term solution is the first step towards restoring the pre-EQ level of service and addressing security and safety of access. The installation is planned for this summer after the design and costings are finalised.
NZTA will fund 95% of all the costs. Council will fund the remaining 5%. Council costs will be up to $37k initially to install, and $8750 annually to maintain the bridge and access road. NZTA will continue to subsidise the ongoing costs for the bridge and access at the emergency funding rate until June 2020 or until the permanent solution is in place – whichever comes first.
At the same meeting, the Rebuild Steering Group approved the development of a strategic business case for access in the Clarence valley to inform a decision on the permanent solution. The development of a long term option will include a feasibility study and a business case to secure funding from our rebuild partners. It is unlikely a permanent solution could be funded by KDC alone.
21 December 2018