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Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi Community Update 5: January 2024

Newsletters, Te Awa Kairangi Project Team, 19 January 2024

Mills Street Stopbank works to begin this summer

Critical flood protection work will get underway this summer with construction of a stopbank between Melling Bridge and north of Mills Street. This section of the river has the highest risk of flooding within the project area. Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai — Lower Hutt is the most densely populated floodplain in New Zealand and has a history of flooding. Recent flooding events across New Zealand show it is vital we invest in flood protection infrastructure to help prevent devastating consequences for communities.

The new stopbank will be largely in the same location of the existing stopbank but will be approximately 1.5 metres higher, allowing more water to pass safely during floods, and provide flood protection during the future construction of the new bridges. In addition, we are also commencing enabling works required around Melling to allow the building of the new Melling interchange with State Highway 2.

The construction team is expected to establish on site from February, and the stopbank design will be finalised in late March. The team will work closely with residents and businesses near the stopbank site to ensure disruption is minimised while construction is underway. Construction of the stopbank is expected to take about six months.

When all of the works under Te Awa Kairangi programme are completed, the Hutt Valley will be protected from an approximately one-in-440-year flood event, including for future climate change.


Demolition Update

Demolition on Pharazyn, Marsden, Mills and Daly Street is complete. Further earthworks are planned throughout 2024.

Please keep in mind, these sites are still considered a construction area and continue to have hazards. The public are not allowed entry and should remain outside of any sites. Further debris clearing and maintenance is ongoing.


Site investigations begin at Melling Road / Mills Street

Crews are mobilising this week to begin site investigations at Melling Road, Mills Street and the future Mills Street Stopbank work area. The works include locating utilities such as power, fibre broadband and water assets, as well as testing ground conditions and assessing pavement thickness /materials.

Temporary traffic control and fencing will surround all work areas, with stop / go traffic management to maintain vehicle / cyclist access along the street and around works when needed. Pedestrian access to businesses and residences will not be affected. Equipment used for these investigations can sometimes cause noise or vibration. To safely complete these works and minimise disruption to residents and businesses, some investigations will be undertaken at night.

You can follow progress by checking out the What’s Happening page of our website, or via Facebook. Site investigations will continue throughout the first half of 2024.


Ecological Surveys

As reported last month, our ecology team has been surveying riparian vegetation (this is an area between the land and Te Awa Kairangi / Hutt River), along both sides of the upper reach of the river within the project area.

As they continued searching for lizards and snails (in particular, a species of carnivorous snail), the team came across a nest of newly hatched manu pango, or blackbirds. August through to February is the normal nesting season for many birds, including the introduced blackbird, who breed as solitary, monogamous pairs.


Addressing Affordability

As part of the current Interim Project Alliance Agreement (IPAA) phase, we’re reviewing design, scope and cost. The current proposal is unaffordable but this is not unusual for this stage of such a large and complex project.

The timeline to have the IPAA finalised has been extended to enable every aspect of design and scope to be considered. An update is to be provided in late March.


More information

For more information on Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi project like our Facebook page for updates, visit our website, or send our team an email.

Facebook: Like our page here

Website: www.teawakairangi.co.nz

Email: info@teawakairangi.co.nz


About the Alliance

Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi (Te Awa Kairangi) – The Soothing Waters of Te Awa Kairangi is a partnership between iwi Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Greater Wellington Regional Council, NZ Transport Agency - Waka Kotahi, Hutt City Council, and the Alliance of AECOM and Fletcher Construction, delivering RiverLink.

The Alliance has been established to deliver the RiverLink project, which includes crucial flood protection and river restoration work, improvements to public transport, walking and cycling routes, local roads and the State Highway 2 Melling Interchange, as well as urban revitalisation of the Lower Hutt city centre.

You can learn more about the project at www.teawakairangi.co.nz