Waikanae River Trail CLOSED for repair
Storm damage has closed the entire Waikanae River Trail for at least a few days, Kāpiti Coast District Council says.
Parks, Open Space & Environment Manager Gareth Eloff says the intense rain, wind and swells that hit Kāpiti in the last week have caused extensive damage along the length of the trail.
“We ask the Kāpiti and wider Wellington community to not use the track until further notice,” Mr Eloff says.
“We have actively falling trees, ongoing surface flooding and massive subsidence and riverbank erosion. In addition the river remains high and the water quality is likely not great.
“We’ve got contractors and machinery working on the track, so as well as the natural hazards it’s also a worksite.”
Mr Eloff says staged opening of some sections of the track could begin next week, but it could take months for it to be returned to its pre-storm standard.
While work continues to make the Waikanae River Trail and Otaihanga Domain safe, there is a detour in place to allow pedestrian and cycle access across the river from Waikanae to Otaihanga. Detour signage is in place.
“We understand this will be frustrating for many. The Waikanae River Trail is a hugely important natural area and transport link.
“We’re working hard to get it cleared but the storm was ferocious and has taken a toll. The track also took a battering in December last year, when a month’s rain fell in two days.”
Signs are being placed at entry points to let walkers, cyclists and horse riders know of the closure and hazards, but it is not possible to fence off the whole track.
“To keep everyone safe, and let the teams working to assess and restore the track get on with it, we need the public to respect the closure and the river environment. Please stay away.”
Mr Eloff says care should be taken on all tracks, trails and parks across Kāpiti.
“It’s still very wet underfoot, there has been some significant coastal erosion and trees have been destabilised.”