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Heathcote River Dredging Design

River landscape and dredging design to manage increasing flooding in Christchurch

  • $16M

    Project Value

  • 35K

    Cubic Metres Sediment Extracted

  • Christchurch, New Zealand

    Christchurch, New Zealand

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 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 river landscape works to manage increasing flooding in Christchurchnot 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/Ōpāwaho for leisure activities and whitebait/īnanga 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.

At a Glance

  • Christchurch City Council
  • WSP Opus
  • Jacobs
Meet Our Team

Kirstie Thorpe, Senior Principal Landscape Architect/Urban Design

I weave threads of landscape together and incorporate their values into infrastructure projects.
Kirstie Thorpe Senior Principal Landscape Architect/Urban Design Read More

Kirstie Thorpe

Senior Principal Landscape Architect/Urban Design

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