The completion of the new section of the College Rd stopbank in Edgecumbe has marked a major milestone in the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's April 2017 Flood Repair Project.
The Bay of Plenty town was flooded after the Rangitāiki River burst its banks on April 6, 2017.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council engineering team leader Peter Hay said contractors were now working on the removal of the existing temporary stopbank and reinstatement of the berm, a process which will take a further two weeks of good weather.
"When that final stage is complete the town's flood defence will be at the full design standard agreed in the council's Rivers and Drainage Asset Management Plan.
"The relocation of services such as communications cabling and stormwater systems, and the construction of the new road have been happening in parallel with the stopbank work.
"Services are now complete and the foundation of the road is in place and our aim, again weather permitting, is to have the road completed in mid-September," he said.
Hay said following the breach of the floodwall, work began on a temporary stopbank as soon as water levels allowed.
"Council then went through a process that involved geotechnical investigation to inform the design of the new stopbank, community consultation on the design, resource consent and tendering for the work.
"At the same time, council entered into negotiations to acquire the properties directly across from the breach. We gained possession of those 12 properties and part-properties in October 2017, after which the area was cleared to enable the stopbank construction and road realignment," he said.
The April 2017 weather events caused damage to 520 sites across the council's rivers and drainage networks.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Flood Recovery Project Manager Paula Chapman said the Rangitāiki-Tarawera Scheme was the worst affected, accounting for more than half of the $45m repair budget.
"The College Rd stopbank and associated work is the single biggest site, with an estimated budget of $5.6m and was clearly the highest priority repair.
"The region-wide repair project has seen damaged sites prioritised, based on the risk of the damage becoming worse, the consequence of that occurring, any impact to community assets, and the practical ability to complete the work required."
Chapman said repairs had been completed to date on 119 of the high-priority sites, including 62 on the Rangitāiki-Tarawera River Scheme.
"As work progresses, the medium and low priority sites will be monitored and reassessed.
"It's possible that towards the end of the project some low priority sites will have stabilised and work may not be required but, as it stands, the region-wide project is scheduled to be completed by June 30 2021," Chapman said.
The community can monitor progress at www.boprc.govt.nz/floodrepairs.