Dam frees land up for development
The construction of a multimillion-dollar dam project eight years in the making has freed up industrial land in Palmerston North for development.
The dam at El Prado Dr is designed to slow down the release of water from a stream in the area in the case of a big flood.
Surveyor Kevin Judd, of Kevin O'Connor & Associates Ltd, said development in the area had been held up as the dam had to be built first.
"If we hadn't have built this we wouldn't have been able to develop."
Building the dam also offered flood protection to people and properties downstream, he said.
The project had been a long time in the works - it was first thought of eight years ago and has been under construction for two.
"The weather hasn't always been on our side and working conditions have been a challenge," Mr Judd said.
The dam and a catchment area would be able to retain and slowly release up to 104,000 cubic metres of stormwater during a major flood.
While there was use for some of the land in the catchment basin, most of it would be left alone.
"There was talk about a recreation area, but the airport didn't want that to happen because you can get ducks.
"Planes and ducks are not a good mix."
The earth dug out to create the dam had been placed on top of a small creek and compacted down, which Mr Judd said made it safe enough to build on.
Work had been done to keep the eco-systems in surrounding streams as unaffected as possible, he said.
The hardest part of the project was meeting Horizions Regional Council requirements, while still keeping enough development land.
"It looks nice and tidy and will allow development that has been put on hold to continue with the assurance it won't make flooding worse for landowners downstream."
Interest from companies had been strong, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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