Work starting soon on river mouth will clear congestion

SUSAN STRONGMAN
Last updated 05:00 30/12/2013

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The Waitara River mouth is set to get a makeover in the new year.

To speed up water flow and get rid of a build-up of sand making it difficult for boaties to get in and out of the river, the New Plymouth District Council has announced it will narrow the mouth, with work beginning in January.

The existing wall in the river mouth will be repaired, stabilised and connected to the bank by a boulder wall, which will direct water out through the main channel during normal flows.

During floods, water will flow over the wall so that it does not back up in the river.

The budget of just under $600,000 comes from the Waitara Harbour Board Trust Reserve, which is funded by income from leases on council land in Waitara.

Parks manager Mark Bruhn said the project aimed to increase the speed of water flow, which would help reduce sand build-up in the river entrance.

"This will help boaties get in and out of the river mouth safely."

Waitara community Board chairman Joe Rauner said the works, which could take until April to complete, would be good for the community.

"For the boaties, this will make entry to the river much safer and they'll be able to stay out at sea longer.

"Right now they have to get back before the tide gets too low because the Waitara sand bar blocks them."

He said the work should also slow down erosion on the eastern side of the river, which was great for residents and the Waitara Boardriders Club.

Construction work can only be done during very low tides, so may take until April to complete, said Mr Bruhn. The river could only be worked on for five days each month.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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