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Waitaki District Council: Weston first served in busy year of projects

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Work is planned to start in earnest this week on Westview Drive, Weston, where a detour has been in place for over a month. Mayor for Waitaki, Gary Kircher thanked residents for their patience and said the Weston works were one of the first cabs off the rank this year, with 2019 expected to be an extremely busy one for Council staff and contractors.

Roading Manager Michael Voss said, "We are looking at six weeks to completion - depending on weather and sub-contractor availability. I would suggest completion will be mid-March, though we will have more certainty on this shortly."

Because of the complexities of land ownership and culvert ownership due to both Council and KiwiRail being involved, the project has taken longer than usual to carry out the design phase. The work to be completed includes constructing a new chamber in the existing box culvert and then a new culvert being laid from the railway box culvert to the outlet side of Westview Drive. Contractors will then thrust bore a new, secondary stormwater pipe through the rail embankment parallel to the existing box culvert. Above the culvert, an existing sewer line will be realigned. Due to the depth of the cut, the backfilling will be placed and compacted in layers before contractors reach the new road formation level. The construction of Westview Drive and its sealing will be the last reconstruction works.

"Hopefully the road will be open to traffic by the end of February or early March." Mr Voss said repairs to the detour route will be undertaken when Westview Drive is reopened. "We are aware that the increased traffic on the by-pass route has accelerated wear and tear but to do more repairs now would create some interference to traffic which is unwarranted."

Residents would be able to keep up to date with the many repairs and refurbishments tabled for 2019 via a new tab called ‘Tell me What’s Happening’ on the Waitaki District Council website.

As well as the already-publicised renovations of heritage buildings like the Forrester Gallery and the North Otago Museum, Council had many significant works projects in the pipeline over the next 12 months including plans to mitigate the effect of flooding in Chelmer Street where a new stormwater culvert is to be thrust-bored below the street to connect into the existing manhole at Gardens Playground. This work is being tied into a number of other similar thrust-bored works such as Westview Drive, all of which will improve stormwater capacity and reduce the likelihood of flooding of private land.

Mayor Kircher said he understood people naturally wanted projects done in their own neck of the woods first, but Council was carrying out its schedule of projects, which used an algorithm to analyse cost-benefit ratios, as urgency and budget dictated. "Unfortunately we can’t do everything at once, but we’re certainly trying to deliver as much as we can. We definitely want this work completed before we have any further major rain events."

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