Tekapo canal repair second stage begins

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2014

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The second stage of the multi-million dollar repair work on the Tekapo canal has started.

More than 100 workers converged on the site this week to begin work on a 1.8-kilometre stretch of the canal known as the Maryburn Fill.

On Tuesday temporary holding structures, known as coffer dams, were installed at both ends and water will be pumped from this section over the next few days.

Last summer, a similar number of workers was involved in fixing and lining an eight kilometre section of the Tekapo canal.

Spokesman Richard Gordon said the entire repair project would cost about $140 million. The contracting team includes canal lining experts from Europe.

Last year's work also involved salvaging hundreds of fish from the canals after sections were drained.

Mr Gordon said it would do a similar operation next week.

Central South Island Fish and Game would help move trout and salmon to other parts of the canal, while native fish will be moved to other waterways.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, which also farms on the hydro canals, had to move tens of thousands of its fish to its site on the Ohau canals, while it had also built rafts to store fish in Lake Ruataniwha.

In order to complete the work, Genesis has dropped the level of Lake Tekapo to 702m above sea level - the lowest possible operating level. It will remain at this level for about 10 weeks.

Mr Gordon expected the work to be completed by the end of this summer, as long as the weather conditions co-operated.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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