Ero­sion re­pair cost con­cerns

Manawatu Standard - - NEWS - JA­NINE RANKIN

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.

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