Major Works Aim To Open Up The River
Work gets underway next week on a major project in central Hamilton aimed at making the river more accessible, boosting river tourism and safeguarding essential infrastructure.
The site at Ferrybank was recently blessed, ahead of a project start date of Monday 2 November. The Waikato River Works project is expected to be completed by February 2021 with timing dependent on river levels.
Hamilton City Council has combined three projects into one overarching project to save time and money: replacement of the central city jetty below Waikato Museum, replacement of the Ferrybank revetment or retaining wall, and installation of a floating device (a deflector) on the river to protect critical water pipes near Hamilton Gardens.
Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor said the new jetty had been in the planning for some time and it was exciting to see it getting underway.
“Having a decent, functional jetty will open up the central city to river tourism and reinforce the link between Hamilton Gardens, Waikato Museum and the central city.”
The projects were a great example of Council’s commitment to delivering on the themes of the Hamilton River Plan by going beyond just a practical approach.
“We’re not just giving the community a more workable city jetty but also one that’s going to look fantastic, celebrate our Maaori heritage and create an impressive new entry point,” Cr Taylor said.
“The revetment wall needs to be replaced to protect the river path, but we’re also taking the opportunity to shape the bank into terraces so people can more easily relax by the river and appreciate this much-loved taonga.”
The current wooden jetty will be replaced with a floating pontoon so the jetty can rise and fall with river levels and be used year-round. The new jetty is due to open in December and will feature artwork – five pou (carvings) representing the historic significance of the area to local hapuu.
Replacement of the revetment wall will protect the safety and integrity of the Ferrybank section of the popular Te Awa River Ride. The new wall is expected to be completed by February.
A new device (a deflector) will be installed on the river near Hamilton Gardens to protect critical water pipes by deflecting debris and river traffic. The pipes supply treated water to the eastern and northern suburbs of the city and were exposed in 2017 after a bank collapse. The deflector project is due to be completed by January.
The jetty and deflector projects have been coordinated so they can share a barge, saving considerable cost. The jetty and revetment wall projects will also be coordinated, as the wall runs beneath the jetty.
The river path at Ferrybank will need to be closed at some points during construction to protect the safety of the public with detours in place for path users.
The Waikato River Works projects are funded through the 2018-28 Long-Term Plan.