Infrastructure explains roadblock in Muri

Tuesday 2 March 2021 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Local

Travellers wanting to get through Muri had to wait six hours or go around the island on Saturday.

The road closure at Tamariki Drive was extended for six hours past the proposed timeframe.

One person trying to get through, Emma McQuade said she arrived at the roadblock at 5pm and was told it would open in 30 minutes. It was not until 7.45pm that she managed to finally get through.

Infrastructure Cook Islands Secretary Diane Charlie-Puna yesterday explained unforeseen challenges with service and utility cables were the cause of the delay.

“Landholdings Ltd, continued to diligently work past the contracted timeframe to ensure that the construction site was returned to a safe and trafficable state for the general public to use,” Charlie-Puna said.

“A single land allowance was set up as soon as it was safe to reopen one side. But this is a situation where leaving it for the next day was not an option. 

“It was not safe to leave the worksite without completing the work and having the road reinstated.”

Charlie-Puna said no further delays are expected.

The project started along the Muri main road just over four weeks ago. Every Saturday since the road has been closed.

Apart from last Saturday, Charlie-Puna said the contractor had maintained the work in the given timeframe, which is a five-hour window.

The contractor uses the window to remove old culvert pipes, install new culverts, and re-establish the road so it is safe for public use.

Charlie-Puna said” ICI would like to extend a huge meitaki ma’ata to the general public for your continued patience as our contractors’ work.”