$1.5m Waikanae stop­bank work starts

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL MAXWELL

A stop­bank pro­tect­ing Waikanae will get a $1.5 mil­lion up­grade for its 60th birthday.

Work is planned to start re­vamp­ing the Jim Cooke stop­bank on the Waikanae River from Jan­uary, Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil has an­nounced.

The work would see dis­rup­tion around the site on the north­ern side of the river in early 2017, but would ramp up the town’s flood pro­tec­tion.

Coun­cil flood pro­tec­tion man­ager Graeme Camp­bell said the project would take about six months and in­clude restora­tion plant­ing af­ter­wards.

The project would boost the pro­tec­tion level of the stop­banks to deal with floods at a one-in100-year mag­ni­tude - floods with a one per cent prob­a­bil­ity.

The stop­bank, built in 1957, was nearly over­topped in 2005 flood­ing, a one-in-80-year level.

Camp­bell said the work would fol­low strict re­source con­sent con­di­tions deal­ing with noise, dust and vi­bra­tion cre­ated by the con­struc­tion.

Three foot­ball fields at the park would be repo­si­tioned af­ter the work and would re­main the same size, he said.

‘‘The prac­tice field and flood­lights will be moved closer to the river and will be in play for the 2017 win­ter sea­son.

‘‘The other two fields will be back in play for 2018.’’

Com­mu­nity ac­cess to some ar­eas along the river would be lim­ited dur­ing parts of the project for safety rea­sons, he said.

Camp­bell said there would be signs and al­ter­na­tive ac­cess ‘‘in most cases’’.

Camp­bell said the project in­cluded plant­ing 10,000 ecosourced na­tive trees in the area ad­ja­cent to river.

‘‘This will com­plete the cor­ri­dor of na­tive plants be­tween State High­way 1 and the sea we’ve been work­ing on with the Friends of the Waikanae River over the past 15 years.’’

Waikanae Com­mu­nity Board chair Jo­ce­lyn Pr­vanov said the work was a great boost for the town’s flood pro­tec­tion.

‘‘There will be some dis­rup­tion over sum­mer­time, but I think Greater Welling­ton have done their best to al­le­vi­ate that.’’

She said the tim­ing, over the sum­mer sea­son, was nec­es­sary for the project to catch a run of what would hope­fully be fine weather.

‘‘You don’t want them to be part way through it and for there to be a flood.’’

JOEL MAXWELL/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Pre­lim­i­nary work at Jim Cooke Park.

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