Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hutt River flood protection project continues...

The earth-movers are back in action along the Hutt River as work continues in a $16 million stopbank project to flood protect the Hutt Valley.

About 50,000 cubic metres of dirt will be shifted in the latest stage of work in Greater Wellington regional council's flood protection scheme, near Hutt Valley High School.

Initial work on the Ava rail bridge to Ewen Bridge section of the stopbank began in October last year and is scheduled to finish in May.

Alistair Allan, a Greater Wellington flood protection assistant engineer, said the work would raise the height of the stopbank by about a metre, enough to protect houses on the other side of the bank from a one-in-440-year flood.

One hundred metres of concrete flood-walls are also being built in places where the flood plain is not wide enough for a stopbank.

Strand Park, which lies on the flood plain behind Hutt Valley High, had been closed for the upgrade and was likely to reopen in September, Mr Allan said.

The Hutt River stopbanks, which are 100 years old in places, were last upgraded in the 1950s.

Before the stopbanks were instituted flooding was just a fact of life along the Hutt River. The whole river valley was regularly flooded in the early days of European settlement.


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