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Public open day on Tongariro River works

Environment Waikato is holding an open day on its proposed Tongariro River flood control works in Turangi next week.

The Open Day will be held in Turangi on Saturday, May 24 at three locations next to the Tongariro River - the end of Tahawai St from 10 am to 10.45 am, Te Aho Reserve from 10.50 am to 11.30 am and the end of Herekiekie St from 11.40 am to 12.15 pm. If wet, the Open Day will be held in the Turangi Senior Citizens Hall from 10.30 am to midday.

The works provide will provide for better river management and flood protection to properties located in the vicinity of the Tongariro River and the Turangi area generally. They include a series of stopbanks, bank protection, channel management and willow control works from Turangi down to Lake Taupo. Environment Waikato expects to start the first stage of construction works early next year.

Project manager Bruce Peploe said engineering consultants Tonkin & Taylor Ltd have developed plans for a new stopbank to link to the existing bank at the end of Herekiekie Street where a number of properties are currently vulnerable to flooding. The stopbank will protect landowners on Herekiekie Street and at Tongariro Lodge.

Upstream of the State Highway Bridge, Environment Waikato intends to construct a low stopbank later to link the newly constructed bank at the upstream end of town with the bank running from Te Aho Reserve to the Bridge.

Also high on the priority list is work to remove willow infestations in the lower river and on some of the shingle islands in and around of Turangi. This includes willow poisoning and spraying, trimming and removal to free up channel constrictions in the Tongariro River delta.

Work is also planned to reduce the frequency that the river overflows low points in its banks, flooding across Graces Road and into neighbouring farmland.

To reduce the overall cost of the project, gravels downstream of the State Highway bridge will be excavated to be used in the works, also opening up clogged areas of the channel.

Environment Waikato will continue to consult with the community about details of the proposed works to accommodate community concerns. Resource consent applications will be publicly notified to allow the community to participate.

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