Erosion repair cost concerns
Erosion repairs to the Manawatu¯ Riverside shared pathway are expected to cost $250,000 and the city council has been asked to foot half the bill.
Cr Adrian Broad raised concerns in August about erosion threatening to undermine a key section of the shared pathway and asked for urgent action.
Horizons Regional Council central area engineer Paul Joseph said it would cost $250,000 to extend rock linings downstream of the Fitzherbert Bridge.
And because the work was not essential to the city’s flood protection scheme, the Palmerston North City Council is being asked to pay half the bill.
Broad said the destruction of large sections of the Ashhurst Domain while it was left exposed to the Manawatu¯ River’s changing flow path was top of his mind when he saw the damage at the Esplanade.
‘‘We don’t want Ashhurst situation.‘‘
He said he was pleased there was a plan in place for repairing and protecting the Esplanade reserve and he supported doing the work properly rather than opting for a cheaper option of replanting the bank to stabilise it.
‘‘But I’m concerned about the cost and concerned that the city council has to make a contribution.’’
The erosion has happened during high river flows and wet weather during winter, about 50 metres downstream of a $500,000 stretch of rock lining near the another bridge that was carried out over summer.
The city council shared the costs of that work with Horizons and Powerco.
City council parks and property manager John Brenkley said a cheaper option would see the bank substantially battered back and planted with a mixture of willows and natives.
It would be a more natural repair, but would take a large amount of the berm, and the pathway would have to be moved well away from the edge at a cost of about $15,000.
The planting would not be able to be done until next winter, leaving the area exposed to more damage in the meantime.
Brenkley recommended the more expensive option and that it be carried out as soon as possible.
Horizons estimated the work would start in January.
Brenkley said there was strong public support for the council being pro-active in looking after its riverside reserves.
‘‘There has been no specific community consultation, however, previous experience of erosion at the Ashhurst Domain has indicated that the community is very concerned that issues such as this are not dealt with at an early stage.’’
The proposal to contribute $125,000 toward the project is being considered by the city council’s finance and performance committee today.
The money will need to be found from the city reserves general activity operations budget, and will need sign off from the full council on September 25.