Transport New Zealand funding for improvements to Coromandel Peninsula bridges are a boost for Environment Waikato and Thames-Coromandel District Council’s Peninsula Project to protect communities from flooding.
Environment Waikato Chairman Jenni Vernon said Transport New Zealand’s announcement last week of more funding for roading projects included a commitment to progress a large number of projects in Thames-Coromandel, including the Kopu bridge, Te Puru, Tararu and Kirikiri bridges and major improvements to the Kopu-Hikuai Road.
Bridges spanning the Tararu and Te Puru Streams have been scheduled for investigation, design and construction occurring consecutively over the next three years.
Mrs Vernon said the funding announcement was another good result from the Councils’ joint approach to Central Government with a business case for Government funding towards the Peninsula Project. The Peninsula Project is designed to stabilise streams and rivers and protect estuaries and harbours, protect land, reduce pests and improve biodiversity, improve water quality and protect the area from frequent flooding.
“The bridges in these communities have been a stumbling block in addressing flooding issues. This result will mean greater surety for the Tararu and Te Puru communities in terms of long-term sustainable outcomes. Councils and communities will now be able to accurately plan for further works to protect these communities from flooding,” she said.
“We will continue to work with Transit to resolve issues around the Waiomu bridge, which has not been identified for funding by Transit.
Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Philippa Barriball also welcomed the news and said that both Councils would now be working with the communities on the Thames Coast and Coromandel Town over the coming months to pin down what flood protection works were needed and could be funded for these areas.
The proposals will go into Environment Waikato's Long-Term Council Community Plan later this year for wider community consultation.