Aug 17th 2023 /
Flood protection work a winning combination
Work on Stage 1 of flood protection work to stabilise the Hokitika River bank at the Westland Milk Products factory is expected to be finished next week.
General Manager Environment and Milk Supply Mark Lockington said the project was a great example of how businesses and councils can work together to ensure a great outcome for the community.
He said Westland was more than willing to contribute $1.5 million towards phase one of the project to raise 435 metres of the flood wall behind the factory by around 1.5 metres.
“The importance of this flood protection effort cannot be underestimated,’’ Mr Lockington said. “The case to protect the town from the river changing direction had become compelling and we’re pleased that planning for stages 2 and 3 to protect the rest of the town and extend the wall to the sea is now under way.’’
Mr Lockington said the importance of the dairy industry to the West Coast economy had significantly increased over the past three years, particularly as the company was now generating $1 billion in annual sales.
“This work provides more assurance to our farmers that the factory can withstand a major adverse weather event and our trucks will be able to leave the plant,’’ Mr Lockington said.
Work on Stage 1 of the flood protection rock wall began on May 5 this year. Planning for the build, motivated by concerns raised by the company and Westland’s milk suppliers about the threat of flooding, began in November 2021.
The design of the rock wall was carried out by Regional Council engineers. Local contractors with significant experience were selected to undertake the works.
Rock from local quarries has been placed at a rate of 40 tonnes per square metre at a daily delivery rate of between 200-250 tonnes of rock, equating to 18 truckloads of granite rock a day.
By mid-July 2023, 305 metres of rock wall had been constructed with the final 135 metres due to be completed by mid-August.
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