Construction on a 1.25km section of stopbank next to Thornton Beach Road is underway.
This project was initiated following the discovery of seepage (the slow escape of water through permeable earth) and is part of a wider programme of work Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council is undertaking to upgrade the flood protection network along the Rangitāiki River.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council civil construction engineer Jordan Mandery says upgrading the stopbanks is an important step, to ensure suitable flood protection is provided to the Edgecumbe community.
“Flood protection is the first line of defence when it comes to reducing the impact of flooding, which is why the Regional Council continually invests in regular testing and improvement of flood defences across the rohe (region).
“These stopbank works form part of a wider upgrade to flood protection defences along the Rangitāiki River, including the Rangitāiki Floodway and Spillway works and the soon to be completed Rangitāiki Floodwalls.”
This project involves deconstructing the current stopbanks and rebuilding them with suitable soil.
This includes raising their height and installing seepage-control drainage to better manage any water passing through them.
The material from the existing stopbanks will be moved onto neighbouring low-lying land to further reduce the seepage risks.
Jordan says it’s important to address seepage issues early, as they can lead to stopbank failure in a flood event, putting the lives and livelihoods of the community at risk.
“While controlled seepage can relieve pressure within the stopbanks, excessive seepage can lead to stopbanks failing, putting people and properties at risk.
“Rebuilding the stopbanks with methods that allow water to pass through in a controlled manner will help relieve the water pressure building up inside and under the stopbank.”
While construction takes place, there will be some disruption to the area. Traffic management will be in place when the road needs to be reduced to one lane. There may also be limited access in and around the awa (river) at the construction site, however the boat ramp will remain open at all times.
The work is expected to be completed next year.
Any questions the public has about the work can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org