7 Jul 2009

Business in East Coast town suffers while road closed

6:33 am on 7 July 2009

Businesses in the East Coast town of Tokomaru Bay say they are losing money while they wait for the main route into the town to be reopened.

A section of State Highway 35 between the small town and Tolaga Bay has been closed since last Tuesday after heavy rain cause a slip, and may not be reopened for another week.

The Transport Agency says an inland detour is open to light vehicles and is being used to get food and other essentials to the town.

Logging truck owner-driver Jason Walker says he has lost about $10,000 in earnings due to the road closure.

Te Puia Springs store manager Hilda Braithwaite says store is missing out as school holiday customers are not travelling through the town.

Residents have run out of petrol due to the road closure and supplies will not arrive until Wednesday.

BP communications manager Diana Stretch says the company needed to check the safety of the route that will be used, as BP had not used the longer route through Opotiki in the past.

Many farmers will not be able to get to the monthly cattle fair which takes place on Tuesday.