Porirua Stream Clean-up finished well ahead of schedule
A huge clean-up operation in the Porirua Stream finished last week, well ahead of schedule. Tonnes of unwanted gravel, deposited in the central business district section of the stream during May floods, was causing storm water blockages and posing a flood protection risk in the short-term.
"We are extremely pleased to have completed this huge task in only a couple of weeks. Moving 3,600 cubic meters of gravel is a significant undertaking," says Jeff Evans, Greater Wellington Regional Council Flood Protection Section Leader.
Rail commuters using the carpark adjacent to the site suffered the most disruption during the project but community feedback has been positive.
"We were aware that this project would disrupt business as usual in the Station Road carpark. Most people have been aware of the need to move the gravel as quickly as possible. It's pleasing to see the work completed so efficiently and I am sure the riverbank users will agree," said Evans.
GWRC officers were on-site throughout the operation to supervise works and answer questions from the public. Works followed a strict code of practice to ensure minimum impact on fish and aquatic life.
"Fishermen we spoke to as works progressed had continued to catch a little whitebait at locations downstream. They will no doubt welcome a return to their favourite fishing spots, recent rain should see the whitebait running well. There were lots of questions about the creation of the truck access causeway, some people thought we were trucking gravel in. They were interested to learn about the engineering aspects of the project. Commuters and foot traffic were largely understanding about the temporary disruption."
As a result of the works banks are slightly steeper than previously, but need no further work. Officers expect the high spots of gravel to smooth through naturally with the higher river flows resulting from recent rainfall. Broken glass and household rubbish will continue to be cleared from the banks.
There were some unexpected outcomes of the extraction operation. A win-win deal struck with contractors Mills and Albert saw gravel carted away, saving thousands of dollars in truck hire and the $400,000 projected tip fees for the material. GWRC officers pulled six cubic metres of rubbish from the bed - a collection of bikes, bottles, traffic cones, car tyres and a large quantity of golf balls no longer degrading the stream.
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