$1.5m Waikanae stopbank work starts
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.’’
Preliminary work at Jim Cooke Park.