Ngātea residents can expect increased truck movements as the next stage in a multimillion dollar project to upgrade the stopbank gets underway this week, says Waikato Regional Council.
Kerepehi Transport Ltd has been contracted by the regional council to carry out work six days a week to raise the height of 1.7km of stopbank from the Ngātea town bridge to 209 River Road.
This will result in 80-100 truck movements daily between 7am and 7pm, said the council’s Hauraki zone manager, Karen Botting.
“The stopbank upgrade is expected to take 42 days, but construction is weather dependent so might take through to the end of February,” Ms Botting said. “We’re working closely with our contractors to minimise the impact on local residents, so we’re starting in the town and moving away from it.”
But, she said, residents might at times experience traffic disruptions on River Road, construction noise and vibration, and restricted or no access to the walking track.
Trees still standing on the stopbank will also be removed to protect the integrity of this infrastructure. These have been offered to local Iwi.
The last step as construction moves along the bank is for hay mulch to be applied. This will protect the surface of the stopbank and allow the new grass to grow.
“This section of stopbank is already above the desired flood design level, but it will naturally sink over time. We so we’re topping it up by an extra 500mm to provide a greater level of protection,” Ms Botting said.
The final stage of the project will take place in January/February 2019. It will involve upgrading 1.1km of stopbank from the Ngātea town bridge to the Phillip Island Rd bridge.
Ngātea and the surrounding area on the Piako River is vulnerable to flooding. This $10 million project – which started in 2008 – will help the council provide continued protection to people, land and roads as part of the Piako flood protection scheme.
The existing Piako flood protection scheme was developed by the Hauraki Catchment Board in 1959 and constructed between 1962 and 1979. The scheme provides vital river and coastal flood protection for a significant portion of the Hauraki Plains.