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Published: 2014-11-20 00:00:00

Joint media release with TCDC
Thames-Coromandel District Council has approved an extra $300,000 to extend the bridge on the Manaia Rd causeway which will be an important element of flood mitigation work at Graham’s Creek in Tairua.

The funding, signed off yesterday, will come from Tairua's stormwater depreciation reserves and a loan. The extension by 16 metres will help keep the road open during flooding and allow floodwaters to drain more easily when combined with floodway improvement works to be done by Waikato Regional Council.

For many years, property owners in the Graham’s Creek catchment, which is upstream of the Manaia Road causeway, have experienced flooding.

To address the problem both TCDC and Waikato Regional Council have been working with the community to find a workable solution. TCDC set aside $620,000 in its 2014-2015 Annual Plan towards upgrading the Manaia Rd causeway bridge. The regional council has set aside $600,000 in its 2014-2015 Annual Plan towards floodway improvement works around Graham's Creek which include stopbanks, re-contouring the floodplain to form a floodway and creek channel works.

Both pieces of work need to be done in tandem for a successful outcome.

In June 2014 a joint working group was set up to help refine and finalise the work programme. Made up of affected residents, elected members, as well as staff from both TCDC and the regional council, the group held four separate workshops and came up with a preferred solution which included a two-way causeway bridge (rather than a one-lane as previously indicated).

"It's good to see we are finally coming to a conclusion, and from a bridge perspective we can deliver what the Tairua and wider community are wanting," says TCDC’s Mayor Glenn Leach. "I want to thank the Working Group for their commitment and involvement to helping to make this happen."

Regional council Thames-Coromandel councillor Clyde Graf says: "The decision aligns with the Graham’s Creek working party’s wishes and is a key milestone in determining the scope of the works being carried out by us in the area.

“The new bridge design will complement the wide-ranging measures being undertaken by the regional council upstream of the current bridge. The combined effect of both our works will provide significant flood risk relief,” Cr Graf says.

The regional council and TCDC are holding an information day in Tairua on Saturday 6 December at the Tairua Hall Annex between 10am and 1pm to give property owners in the area the opportunity to talk to staff about what is planned.

Construction of the regional council flood mitigation measures and the construction of the bridge are due to start in the middle of next year once resource consents are obtained.