ORC Leith Flood Protection Scheme works update

Media Release - 21 December 2018

Otago Regional Council (ORC) Leith Flood Protection Scheme works by the Information Technology Services (ITS) building on University of Otago campus are almost complete, and from 7 January 2019 works begin on the final flood protection stage of the project.

As part of this final stage, the Dundas St bridge will be temporarily closed to pedestrians and vehicles to begin flood protection works in this area. It was originally proposed the bridge would need to be closed from 7 January, but to minimise disruptions to traffic in this area, other works are taking place to prepare the site for the works and therefore the bridge will remain open to the public until 21 January 2019. Detours will be in place until the bridge reopens in July 2019.

Once this final stage is complete the full benefit of the flood protection works will be seen and the Dunedin CBD will better be able to cope with a 1-in-100-year flood.


Dundas St works construction program:

7 January 2019: works begin

21 January 2019: Dundas St bridge closed to all traffic

  1. Construction of a 17 metre long culvert
  2. Construction of vertical concrete retaining walls
  3. Reprofiling the riverbed and placing riprap protection (placing rocks to slow flow of water in times of flood)
  4. Widening the channel by up to 2 metres over a 25 metre length of river
  5. Removal of 40 metre protrusion in the channel.


The ORC has worked closely with the University of Otago to ensure their staff and students are aware of the works and as part of this have considered their 150th year commemorations throughout 2019. There are nine days where no work is to be carried out for as part of these commemorations as follows:

  • 15 February 2019 Clocktower lawn picnic
  • 16 March 2019 Street parade
  • 12-14 April 2019 (inclusive) Homecoming weekend
  • 13 April 2019 Concert
  • 11 and 18 May 2019 Graduations
  • 1 June 2019 Official convocation ceremony and anniversary dinner


July 2019: Bridge reopening (with no unforeseen matters arising)

The Ridge Runner bus will be detoured for the duration of this project with temporary closure of eight existing bus stops. A notice will be in each of these bus stops informing the community of the detour prior to the closure.

For more information about the Leith Flood Protection Scheme go to:

For more information about the Route 15 bus diversion go to:

1:25 scale physical model of the Water of Leith at Dundas Street bridge, looking downstream. The proposed new culvert is at the right of the bridge. The model was constructed at the Water Engineering Laboratory of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland.



Gavin Palmer

ORC Director Engineering, Hazards & Science




Emma Schranz

ORC Senior Media Advisor



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