Updates from Ken Turner about the Forest Hill Road slip

Forest Hill Road Repair

Janine Moore from Oratia District School has sent this notification

The Ministry of Education has advised that there will be work carried out on Forest Hill Road which will require a portion of the road to be closed affecting the Oratia School Bus 4 Run:

Quick rundown of the job:

  • Full road closure on Forest Hill Road at house no. 227 (residents only between Kelly’s Road and West Coast Road) for 8 weeks, starting 27th April
  • Construction of a large retaining wall to fix a slip – half of the road is currently missing and pavement is compromised
  • Bus services travelling this route will not be able to traverse the site
  • Site has been under a temporary traffic light stop/go since June 2020

The school has been in touch with Ritchies and at this stage they are unable to confirm how and if the School Bus 4 will run over this time.

Could you please make arrangements to bring your child to school and be collected from school on the first day of term. The school will update you on that date (or before if we hear).

Forest Hill Road – What Auckland Transport had to say

Forest Hill Rd slip update: Auckland Transport has replied to my questions regarding progress with the Forest Hill Road slip. Disappointingly this reply contains little advance on that reported by Paddy Compter in his comment to my last post, but for the record AT has stated that: AT has a design to construct a full retaining wall and has secured the funding. This will allow them to re-instate this section of road.
A contractor is ready to start, however as a safety precaution, Vector is to move their lines before the start of construction. AT is currently working with Vector to have these lines removed as soon as possible.
Auckland Transport assured me that they are taking this very seriously and doing everything in their power to ensure this work is completed as fast as possible. But AT’s update concluded by stating that – given the situation they cannot give a definite timeline, though they may be in a position to give a timeline in the next 4 weeks. So, time drags on.
I replied to AT’s update with attached photos of the roadside opposite the slip, showing where people had thrown domestic rubbish including a bed mattress which is up against the small retaining wall on that side and I suspect this is covering the exit of the stormwater drain because there is water being retained in the cesspit to a level higher than the discharge pipe.
This rubbish has obviously been there for years, the mattress has been there since I first looked last October. People should be caught and prosecuted for this type of indirect vandalism but most importantly this demonstrates the absence of any roadside monitoring and maintenance. I have requested AT to inspect the roadside and for someone to clear the rubbish.

Forest Hill Road – Whats Happening Now?

27 January 
Forest Hill Road slip. I approached Auckland Transport last October for an update on when work would start to remedy the subsidence on Forest Hill Road and when it was expected that both lanes would be working again. I was told that civil engineering and planning was virtually complete, and the work would start shortly. That is now almost 4 months ago and as everyone knows, little has happened at the slip site.
I have visited the site regularly (4 times) since October and observed the continuing road movement indicated by the reference marks painted on the road surface by AT, presumably. The slip is SLOWLY moving despite the drier than usual whether of the last months, and in my humble opinion the roads structural integrity could come under threat. We will get a large rain event sometime in the future and this could have catastrophic effects. I presume AT knows this evidenced by the construction of an ad hoc roof over the slip and a hot mix bunding to direct rainwater away from the slip face and associated storm water cesspit. I am not a roading engineer, but I do have experience with trying cheapy-home handyman-temporary-ad hoc fixes and I can assure people they are seldom successful.
I have written to Auckland Transport with my observations and comments and reminded them that an event leading to the full closure of Foresthill Road would be catastrophic for commuters from Waiatarua and Piha. I have asked for a full update on the current situation and will update the community as soon as I have a response.