Media release

Leith Flood Protection Scheme: Dundas St bridge to reopen in October

Thursday 27 June 2019

It is difficult to know exactly what lies underneath the ground and where. As the Leith Flood Protection Scheme at Dundas St has progressed to increase the flood capacity, we’ve found that to complete it safely and properly we’ve had to carry out additional works that were not part of the original programme.

We’ve re-evaluated the work programme to include these additional works, and the reopening of the bridge will now be October. Other works downstream of the bridge will continue beyond this date but works directly underneath the bridge will be completed in October, meaning load limits will be lifted and the Dundas St bridge will be safe for public use once more.

The additional works include:

  • Complex temporary works to install a retaining wall next to the properties closest to the river, to make sure the they are not damaged while the project is carried out.
  • Moving and replacing water mains. This is a critical piece of infrastructure and required careful planning and preparation to ensure the work is done safely without impacting the delivery of water to Dunedin residents.

Unfortunately maintaining existing infrastructure whilst carrying out a project of this nature requires thinking outside the box, careful planning and adjusting plans as we move through the project to ensure changes to the river are managed safely and properly.

The Otago Regional Council is looking at ways that we can open the bridge to pedestrians earlier than the October timeframe. We will keep residents and other key stakeholders informed when we know more.

The Leith Flood Protection Scheme at the Dundas St bridge is the final stage prior to completion. Spanning over a decade, the project has involved a series of engineering modifications along the length of the Leith, planned to control floodwaters and help reduce the likelihood of it overflowing and flooding Dunedin city.

For more information about the history of this project go to