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Topic # 222851 31-Aug-2017 13:53
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Stuff article 

 

I've only driven over the existing route once. It was a bit of an experience.

 

Anyone here who drives it regularly? What do you think of the final decision?


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  Reply # 1855965 31-Aug-2017 14:25
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Originally from Taranaki and worked back there for a couple of years recently. Have driven over the existing Mt Messenger Road many times and yes it can be an "experience". I actually expected them to take it west of the current route, as it seemed the least expensive option.

 

I took a "scenic" (make that - "should have had a 4WD") trip down Kiwi Road (Google Maps) from the north once, which completely bypasses Mt Messenger to the east and emerges around Uruti, so I am wondering if this new route actually traverses some of that same country.


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  Reply # 1855969 31-Aug-2017 14:36
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Awww! I'm going to miss the Mt Messenger road.

 

I used to travel that road fairly often as a child in the late 1970's and early 1980's, long before the bends on the north side of Mt Messenger got straightened out, back when the Mt Messenger tunnel was one lane, and had a large vehicle bypass which was a narrow track (I wouldn't go anywhere near calling it a road) around the outside of the bluff.  I have vague memories of a second tunnel on Mt Messenger, but I could be thinking of the tunnel there used to be in the Awakino Gorge.

 

But as much as I'll miss the twisty road, a proper bypass makes a lot of sense if it makes the road safer and easier to drive, and helps to prevent highway closures in bad weather.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1855981 31-Aug-2017 14:54
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stevenk:

 

Awww! I'm going to miss the Mt Messenger road.

 

I used to travel that road fairly often as a child in the late 1970's and early 1980's, long before the bends on the north side of Mt Messenger got straightened out, back when the Mt Messenger tunnel was one lane, and had a large vehicle bypass which was a narrow track (I wouldn't go anywhere near calling it a road) around the outside of the bluff.  I have vague memories of a second tunnel on Mt Messenger, but I could be thinking of the tunnel there used to be in the Awakino Gorge.

 

But as much as I'll miss the twisty road, a proper bypass makes a lot of sense if it makes the road safer and easier to drive, and helps to prevent highway closures in bad weather.

 

 

eee by gum tell that to the kids today and they won't believe you

 

 

 

Also from the 'Naki as a kid. remember it well


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  Reply # 1855983 31-Aug-2017 14:57
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I can understand why they are doing it, the road catches many people out. It will be interesting to see which route they take.

 

Personally I will miss it having driven that stretch of road hundreds of times. Although it was a far better drive in the pre-family car.


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  Reply # 1855989 31-Aug-2017 15:14
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I've lived in Taranaki for many years in the past and do remember always hearing about slips on that piece of road every time it rains, so yes this is a good move.


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  Reply # 1855992 31-Aug-2017 15:21
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By the way @stevenk, the Awakino Gorge tunnel is still there. Still not exactly two-way.


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  Reply # 1856009 31-Aug-2017 15:45
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stevenk:

 

I have vague memories of a second tunnel on Mt Messenger.

 

 

Correct. Back before 1974 or 75, there used to be two tunnels a short distance apart, just below the lookout point at the summit of road.

 

On my first drive to New Plymouth, in my 1948 Morris Minor convertible, at the foot of Mt Messenger the exhaust pipe broke just after the collector. So I ROARed up Mt Messenger! Top down, full noise! Up and down and up again between 2nd and 3rd gears (and probably an occasional foray back to 1st)! 1095 screaming ccs of raw power! Through the first tunnel, ears ringing! Honk the horn for maximum noise through the top tunnel!

 

... to see a cop parked at the lookout point (black and white HQ Belmont, with a single red light on the roof). He'd been waiting for us to arrive for about 20 minutes, he reckoned.

 

 


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