By SHELLEY TOPP
A Cust River stopbank alongside O’Roarkes Road in Fernside is being upgraded by Environment Canterbury at a cost of $75,000.
The stopbank is being rebuilt to achieve better flood protection.
ECan’s rivers manager Leigh Griffiths says it is being lifted to the same height as the true right bank, with the riverside batter being rebuilt.
This is to reduce risk of erosion and make matinenance easier.
The upgrade is being done to a section of the stopbank which had rotten trees and roots running through it. Work is also being done to improve the site’s safety and numerous cracked willows within the road reserve have been felled.
“These trees posed a risk to cars entering or exiting the previous carpark as they caused blind spots,”‘ Ms Griffiths says.
The work is being completed as part of a wider project to improve parking on the site and extend the existing native planting block. New fencing is planned along the O’Roarkes Road side of the upgraded area.
“We understand that earthworks such as this can look messy, particularly when undertaken in winter, but we believe that these stopbank and amenity upgrades will greatly improve the area and the community will like it once it is completed.”
The work is likely to be completed by the end of the month or early September.
The upgrade does not include plans to remove the white bridge at the O’Roarkes Road end of Bridge Road which was closed to vehicles about 10 years ago, but is still used by pedestrians and cyclists.
The bridge is a Waimakariri District Council roading asset. The council’s roading and transport manager on this project, Joanne McBride, says the council had not been approached by ECan with any concerns about the bridge and the council has no plans to remove it.