Stopbank project gets under way next month

JENNA HOUGHTON
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2013

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Upgrades to Waitara river stopbanks will begin next month.

The Taranaki Regional Council has given the go-ahead for the first stage of the project which is scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2014.

The council's chief executive Basil Chamberlain said the project would be "up and cracking for the summer construction season".

Work will be carried out on the left riverbank from Browne St to the Town Bridge, and the right riverbank from the Rowing Club to High Street East.

The 1460 metres of stopbank will be raised by up to 1.8 metres, using 32,000 cubic metres of compacted clay, 90 metres of gabion basket wall, and 35 metres of concrete wall.

The project will also require trees, fences and access steps to be removed and replaced, and access roads to be reconstructed.

Upgrades are estimated to cost $800,000 for the left bank and $500,000 for the right. The project will protect the Waitara township from a one-in-100-year flood.

Part two and three of the project will go through consultation with the community and the New Plymouth District Council before being carried out over the next three years. Total works has a budget of $3 million.

The project has been in discussions since 2010, and the regional council received positive feedback from landowners, Otaraua hapu, and the general public in consultations from October 2013.

"If you're reducing the chance of getting wet, it's pretty hard to disagree with," Mr Chamberlain said.

Tenders for the project will remain open until December 19.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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