Leith Lindsay flood protection developed
Friday, 28 January 2005
Essential flood protection plans for the urban areas surrounding the Water of Leith and Lindsay Creek were unveiled by the Otago Regional Council today.
Designed to protect the northern city from a 100-year flood event, the plans will significantly improve flood protection for densely populated areas of Dunedin and the city?s essential services.
Regional Council Chairperson Stephen Cairns said the plans include significant widening, deepening and re-bridging of the waterways.
"This proposal, to be considered by a council committee next week, will lift flood protection on the Water of Leith from a one in 20 year event and in Lindsay Creek from less than one in 20 years.
"Floods in these waterways could impact drastically on institutions such as Otago District Health Board properties, the University of Otago and the Cumberland Street industrial area as well as vital services including major roads and water and sewerage," Cr Cairns said.
"Although the last major flooding of the Leith was in 1929, there have been several occasions when the flood channel has run at full capacity.
"If the recent heavy downpour in Dunedin on 17 January had centred on the catchments of the Leith and Lindsay Creek for just 45 minutes, floods would have overflowed from both waterways.
"For far too long, luck, not good flood design, has kept North Dunedin relatively flood free. Flood events in the North Island last year are a timely reminder that urban flood protection must be assured and of a very substantial capacity," Cr Cairns said.
The estimated cost of the flood related work is $18.3 million, considerably more than expected when the first concepts were developed in 2000.
"Since then, we have been able to do much more detailed design and concept work, which has given the engineers a greater understanding of how the waterways could behave during a serious flood event.
"As a consequence of this much more detailed analysis we now believe we have an accurate estimate of the works needed and the costs involved in protecting the heart of Dunedin from a serious flood," Cr Cairns said.
In addition, a further $3.1 million has been allowed for environmental enhancements, improving the look and accessibility of the areas and the ecological values of the water.
The proposal will be considered by the Council?s Engineering and Hazards committee on Wednesday. As well as considering the scheme, the committee will consider seeking funding from central government because of the large amount of Crown owned property, not subject to rates, in the area.
There is also a recommendation for purchases of a small number of properties that may be required to develop the flood protection.
"From there, the Council needs to develop the funding proposals for the work in consultation with the community. It is likely to be a mixture of central government contributions, targeted rates, and borrowing over an extended period.
"If approved, the work should be completed by 2009. This is essential work for the secure future of Dunedin. Recent floods in the North Island remind of us of the extraordinary losses and costs that can face areas without flood protection," Cr Cairns said.
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