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Urgent flood protection work: Opihi River access closed

Urgent flood protection work: Opihi River access closed

Access to a popular recreation area along the Opihi River has been closed to allow urgent river works to be undertaken safely.

The area of works is in the Opihi River between Wareing Road and Omara Road. Access to the river from Waipopo Road and Omara Road will be restricted to ensure the safety of the community.

The work is required because a 100m length of erosion and slumping has occurred in the northern bank of the Opihi River. The stopbank that keeps floodwater from spilling out onto the farmland and running down to the Milford Huts is being threatened.

Work is already underway to divert the river away from the erosion area and strengthen the bank, and the diversion channel should be finished before the end of September.

Work will be dependent on river conditions and flow. With the recent rainfall in the catchment, the Opihi River is discoloured and has higher flows than normal which will take several days to settle down. Once the diversion channel is finished, it will be decided when the best time is to complete the erosion and slumping repair work. The purpose of the diversion channel is to enable the repair work to occur out of flowing water and minimise sediment discharge. It is acknowledged that to complete this repair, some sediment disturbance and associated discharge will occur.

This means access to the river will be restricted until the end of September, when there will be a further update on when the remaining work will occur. This is a popular area for whitebaiting and fishing, so our river engineering team is working with community groups to ensure they are aware of the work being undertaken.


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