By Roger Childs
There were no road closure signs at the top and I had to drive half way down before I found that it was blocked off. Mary Hadfield
Well known Valley Road resident, Mary Hadfield, was driving to Paekakariki for a walk with the Kapiti Joggers and Walkers, when she encountered a major slip on Waterfall Road. There was no alternative but to detour back along Valley Road and out on to State Highway One at Paraparaumu.
The slip had come down during the storm on Saturday night. A number of trees have recently been cut down by the Council above where the slide occurred, and local residents believe that this felling plus the heavy rain caused the bank to collapse.
Vulnerable to storm damage
Waterfall Road is about 1.5 km long and is often affected by erosion. The combination of cliffs on the northern side and steep drops to the Whareroa Stream on the southern side, make the unsealed narrow road vulnerable to storm damage. Known to many locals as Snakes Gully, Waterfall Road winds through bush and scrub, and on some bends, is only one way.
The route does not have great volumes of traffic, but is a handy alternative route to State Highway One for people going south from Paraparaumu to McKay’s Crossing and beyond. Popular with mountain bikers, walkers and runners, it also provides ready access to the Maungakotukutuku Valley for vehicles coming from the south.
Contractors were busy clearing the slip on Monday and were hopeful of having the road reopened by next Tuesday. The landslide occurred south of the houses above the road on the northern side and the residents can get in and out via Valley Road.
Much of the material that slipped off the steep slope above the road is being deposited over the bank on the southern side. Another minor washout further up the road is blocked off, but does not affect access.