Capital Projects

Improving our Roads
Drainage Improvement Program
Improving Waterways
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Rarotonga has been abuzz with multiple developments and improvements popping up across the island. We intend to keep you well informed as these improvements occur. Keep an eye out for updates across all local multimedia channels and via our ICI social media platforms. 

Rarotonga Improvements

See our Rarotonga Improvements in the following areas:

  • Bridges & Structures Improvement
  • Drainage Improvement Program
  • Inland and Coastal Water Asset Management
  • Pa Enua Air Infrastructure Improvement (Manihiki Airport)


  • Pa Enua Marine Infrastructure Improvement (Nassau Harbour)
  • Road Asset Management
  • Waste Management Infrastructure Improvement
  • Water & Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement

Bridges & Structures Improvements

Rarotonga Successes include:

  • The creation of a domestic road maintenance schedule throughout Rarotonga.
  • Storm water drainage and treatment including culvert installations, culvert structures and stream re-grading, tidy up at multiple sites including managing the quality and quantity of stormwater in the Aroko and Muri catchment areas
  • Turangi Bridge reconstruction and Avana Bridge including the installation of road safety barriers and footpath construction completed
  • The purchase of a bailer for the compacting of solid waste material mass; and promotion and advocacy for separation of waste and recycling
  • Sheraton and Rutaki Foreshore coastal protection construction of rock wall completed
  • Road improvements in Matavera, Prison Back Road and Nikao Airport Back Road trench re-instatement as well as Takitumu School, Site C Backroad Titikaveka, Vaima’anga (Wigmores to Sheraton), Nikao Backroad & Hospital Hill, followed by main road in Arorangi and Ngatangiia
  • Avana Bridge pedestrian ramps, road safety barriers, footpath, pavement works and road about


As per Cook Islands custom, this is an opening ceremony celebrating the cutting of the ribbon for the Avatiu Bridge.

Turangi Bridge Reconstruction

Bridges in the Cook Islands are generally a critical component to facilitate the travel between two river or stream embankments. On Rarotonga, there are a number of bridges that have been constructed that serve as an outlet for water from the mountains to the ocean. To design for safety and longevity, engineers have to consider different degrees of weight, how they are applied and where.


Road Safety Barrier installed along the sea wall area near Apii Nikao.

Avatiu Bridge Reconstruction

The construction contract for the Avatiu Bridge Reconstruction works has been awarded to Landholdings Ltd. Majority of the large works have been completed at the beginning of the 2020/2021 financial year, with the unveiling of the Avatiu Bridge in September of 2020. Though works are currently underway to complete, other completed aspects of this project include the pedestrian footpath, pavement works, roadside barriers and roundabout.

Avatiu Bridge was completed in September 2020.

Drainage Improvements

Nikao Back Road Culvert Replacement Project

  • Apii Nikao Back Road culvert crossing design complete
  • Culvert installations completed at Paiau Pirake outlet, Airport substation chamber, Charlie Tamangaro inlet, Mike Tavioni Chamber and Airport substation outlet.
  • Installation works to be carried at Cook’s Bus depot, Pokoinu Road, Apii Nikao backroad 
  • Culvert structures including inlet chambers and outlet structures to be completed at Auto Tech, BCI Stadium, Tepuka Store, Tepuka Bus stop and other sites along the stretch of the backroad.

Avatiu Stream Flood Management

  • This construction contract has been awarded to Landholdings Ltd and includes the invert profiling of the Avatiu stream and implementing a port rock revetment repair (that has now been completed).

Ridge to Reef

  • Primary focus on managing the quality and quantity of stormwater in the Aroko and Muri Catchment
  • Undertake Aroko & Muri Stormwater Study – Tonkin and Tailor Ltd carried out the Muri Catchment Feasibility Study for Stormwater Management. 
  • R2R Rapid Coastal Assessment – collect and report on baseline ecological, biological & environmental conditions including sediment distribution. 
  • To address drainage capacity by widening streams and increasing culvert sizes to cater for flood event.
  • Then attenuation and treatment which is the slowing down of flows and absorbing sediments, will be addressed by improving existing wetlands along the streams.

Rarotonga Coastal Improvements

Sheraton & Rutaki Area – construction completed.  

This project aims to enhance the protection of vulnerable infrastructure assets including underground utility services within the road corridor, private property, associated infrastructure, and the main road from ongoing coastal erosion and one off erosion events related to heavy rain storms and high seas.

Coastal construction and improvement works will be continuing in the Vaima’anga district as part of Infrastructure Cook Islands’ ongoing asset management and improvement programme.

Following the completion of 120 metres of the rock wall in August 2020, a further 165 metre extension of the rock wall will continue. Projects like this facilitate further road improvements to progress a robust, safer and more resilient road network especially along the exposed coastline. 

Road Asset Management

ICI has developed a toolkit for assessing the condition of the roads, and a road grading system is also being implemented. ICI has strengthened asset management systems, including the development of comprehensive and up-to-date infrastructure asset registers.

Road asset management successes have included backroad rehabilitation and surfacing including back road trench reinstatement works. A number of planned road improvements to the Nikao backroad from Harley Street to Avatiu roundabout are underway.  

 Improve 4.2km of backroad from Harley Street to the Avatiu round about. Priority sections of the main road, back road and other critical sections of the road network road including; Avatiu Bridge and Roundabout, Takitumu School, Site C Backroad Titikaveka, Vaima’anga (Wigmores to Sheraton), Nikao backroad & Hospital hill, followed by the main road in Arorangi and Ngatangiia.

ICI Pa Enua Infrastructure successes include:

  • The distribution of some domestic water tanks in the Pa Enua (PEARL Project) and the construction of domestic as well as community water catchments in the outer islands.
  • Planned and current construction of  cyclone centers in Penrhyn, Rakahanga & Nassau.
  • Installation of Aitutaki Water Gallery – tank liners and new water pumps
  • Atiu road improvement completion
  • Implementation of Oneroa Village stream based water system

Mitiaro Water Commissioned

Infrastructure Cook Islands along with a delegation led by Minister of Infrastructure, Robert Tapaitau officially opened and handed over to the island of Mitiaro, the Orotoma Ground Water Development in July of 2020. 

The project saw the renewal of the island’s long-serving Vai Uti water tank and the construction of another water tank in Orotoma, leaving a total of 45,000 litres of storage now available for the island. 

Each household on the island, just over 70 houses are now connected to the new water network installed. Both water pumps are running on solar power, and according to testing, it pumps 2000 litres of water every 10 minutes and takes approximately 2 hours to fill the water tank.  

ICI would like to extend a big meitaki maata to the people of Mitiaro, the Island Government, Mitiaro Island Council, the Mitiaro Mayor, contractor, Raro Welding, and the water project managers that saw this project through to completion.

Mitiaro Airport Runway Emergency Upgrade

During November 2020, ICI worked on the Mitiaro airport runway in a welcomed initiative to encourage domestic travel to the Pa Enua at the opening of the international borders. 

Mitiaro also traditionally known as Nukuroa, has undergone a number of infrastructure developments in the last 10 years and the plan is to focus on building tourism enabling structures to help boost economic development on the island. 

Renovations works to the Nukuroa Airport are currently underway, which translates to more in bound flights, and hopefully results in more tourists to the island.

Atiu Road Improvements

There is a ring road around the island and links into the inland village settlements by feeder and inland roads. As at 2006, a few kilometers of roads through the villages were sealed. The road from town to the wharf and airport is of two lanes compacted with coral and dirt, and most other roads are dirt tracks with some drainage and limited gravel filling work throughout. Road work activities are hampered by the quality of heavy duty equipment on the island to sufficiently maintain the roads. This also includes different phases of the road work and sealing project: from village to airport, upgrade plantation roads and inland roads coastal round. Infrastructure Cook Islands proposes a water supply system upgrade with water tanks to be implemented for households. 

Tamarua Water


Funding in the 2017/2018 financial year was appropriated for the Tamarua Water Project, which involved the set-up of an intake system and water weir to an off stream filtration and sedimentation tank before delivering the water by gravity to a pumping station located 200m downstream. The water is then pumped to an elevated water storage tank located approximately 1km at the village lookout point for final reticulation by gravity into the Tepauru and Kiriapi sections of the wider Tamarua village.

A number of identified issues contributed to the prolonged completion of the first stage of this project. As such, an ICI project team assumed project management and mobilised to Mangaia to complete project works and handover the project to the Tamarua community and people of Mangaia on the 29th of June 2020.

Since completion of this stage of works, an extension of project works have been identified to implement on Mangaia, of which an ICI team will be mobilising to the island this month to undertake.