Two recently-let contracts collectively worth roughly $500,000 effectively mark the start of summer works as part of a wider $15-million, several-year upgrade of the Awanui River flood scheme, the Northland Regional Council (NRC) informs.
According to Te Hiku constituency representative Mike Finlayson, NRC had formally awarded both contracts to local firm Kaitaia Contracting Limited earlier this month, on 4 December.
Work on both contracts would occur concurrently and while some initial ‘enabling works’ were being carried out in the lead-up to Christmas, work would begin in earnest in the New Year and is expected to run until the end of March.
The first $213,000 (GST-exclusive) contract involves repairs to a roughly 500-meter stretch of undermined stopbank behind Kaitaia’s Te Ahu center and the second, for $280,000 (excl-GST), is for construction of a new emergency spillway opposite the slow-moving Bell’s Hill slip site.
Councillor Finlayson said that the NRC has been methodically working through the highest priority repairs needed by the decades-old scheme and the new works program would bring much-needed improvements, as well as future-proofing it for many years to come: “Council has been monitoring and managing the Bell’s Hill slip for many years, concerned it could potentially slip into – and block – the nearby Awanui River.”
To that end, a new emergency spillway will be built on the recently-cleared 14,600 square meter former Firth concrete plant site purchased by NRC in June.