By David Hill
Transport, stop banks, drainage and the Kaiapoi River were among the hot topics at Tuesday’s Waimakariri District Council meeting.
Road safety, speed limits, footpaths, public transport, cycleways, connectivity between the main towns and the fate of the Woodend Bypass were all items debated by councillors as they considered a council submission to the Government Policy Statement on land transport.
Councillors backed an Environment Canterbury plan to gap fill a secondary stop bank on the Ashley Rakahuri River.
The council’s development manager, Joanne McBride, says the gap fill work will involve filling on Cones Road and Millton Avenue to raise the roads.
“The roads will be lifted over a length to a gentle vertical curve along the height of the existing secondary stop banks.”
She says the project is being funded by Environment Canterbury, which is proposing to carry out the work between June and November.
There will be some disruption to Cones Road and Millton Avenue, but the regional council is mindful of having Millton Avenue open for the Northern (Rangiora) A&P Show in October.
Councillors adopted the Stormwater Drainage and Watercourse Protection Bylaw 2018, which has been designed to protect public infrastructure by controlling access to stormwater and drainage reticulation and provides improved flood hazard protection.
While councillors applauded the far-reaching protections in the new bylaw, which go further than other bylaws in Canterbury, concerns were expressed about staff resourcing to enforce it.
Council staff were also authorised to press ahead with designing and applying for a consent for a proposed 1.5 metre depth channel in the Kaiapoi River from the Williams Street bridge to the Waimakariri Confluence to improve navigation at low tide.
Utilities and roading manager Gerard Cleary says it is unclear what impact the threat of saltwater intrusion would have on the project, but a definitive answer could be several years away.
He says it makes sense for the council to press ahead with the dredging and the proposed new pontoon at the Kaiapoi Wharf together.
The cost of the dredging project is expected to be shared by the council and Environment Canterbury.