A Coromandel businessman says he’s losing thousands of dollars a day after a huge slip at Ruamahanga last week.
The 1000 cubic metre slip closed a section of State Highway 25 between Tapu and Waiomu, and clearing it is proving difficult.
Bruce Efford, who owns Tapu Camp and Royal Oak Hotel, said he is losing $2000 to $3000 a day due to cancelled bookings, and the lack of customers has also forced him to close the pub early.
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“On Friday they did nothing as there were two trees and OSH was involved. Saturday, they water-bombed it to get rid of the trees and, the danger away, on Sunday they started clearing it …
“They stopped at 3pm and they said no more. We weren’t allowed to walk down and have a look as they had cordoned it all off – people were out on boats and got photos and there are two diggers sitting on top of the slip and the trucks have gone home.”
Efford went down on Monday morning and was told that it would be Tuesday before it would be cleared.
“It looks like contractors are dragging it out as much as possible and they don’t care about clearing the road.
“My camp was booked for the past weekend and they all cancelled. Saturday night is normally a good night for me but I had to close at 8.30pm. It’s unfair, it’s costing me $2000 to $3000 a day, and these jokers don’t want to talk to you.”
With Easter weekend approaching, Efford is fully booked out and wants the road to be cleared so he can get into Coromandel to get more supplies.
“If it was a state highway blocking off Whitianga then they would be working 24 hours, seven days a week, and these guys aren’t even working six hours.”
Highways manager Karen Boyt, for New Zealand Transport Agency, said she understands that the closure of the Thames-Coast road is frustrating for residents and businesses.
“We have as many people and diggers working on the slip as can safely be accommodated at the site. While work clearing the slip has been under way during daylight hours, we are providing traffic management 24 hours a day to ensure that people don’t unknowingly drive into the working area.
“More debris than was originally thought has come down so this has meant more assessment has had to take place. When it doesn’t look like work is occurring, staff are having much-needed breaks or more assessment is taking place.
“We expect to have the road reopened late Tuesday. This is subject to weather conditions,” Boyt said.