Keeping Christchurch waterways sediment free
Managing surface water became a critical focus for Christchurch City Council following the City’s earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, particularly in combatting sedimentation rates and flooding.
Dredging helps reduce the severity of smaller flood events as it deepens and widens river channels. The Heathcote River Dredging Project set out to provide immediate relief to nearby properties affected by flooding.
Our job was to fast-track design of the dredging profile and associated bank and landscape works—not a straightforward engineering solution. Along with providing flood relief, we needed to minimise environmental impacts and enhance the planted areas.
Community activities were integral to our design as locals use the Heathcote for leisure activities and whitebait fishing, a custom important to Māori culture.
Community feedback to our proposal was positive as our design had great spin-offs, for example the locals were delighted with the removal of over a hundred white poplar trees which they saw as weeds. Their dense foliage had created a ‘dark area’ where people regularly partied so clearing it eliminated the associated rubbish build-up and created picnic and sitting areas instead.
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