A 54-metre long, $250,000 stock bridge under construction as part of work the Northland Regional Council says will better protect Kaitaia and the wider Awanui catchment from the effects of flooding should be completed within weeks.

The council said the $250,000 bridge is being built on the boundary of two farms about 2.5 kilometres downstream from the recently modified Whangatane Spillway weir. The council spent about $150,000 modifying the weir during the summer, which will now allow floodwaters to enter the spillway from the Awanui River much earlier during floods.

Regional Councillor Monty Knight said the changes reduce the flood risk to urban Kaitaia by lowering peak flood level at the spillway intake and upstream along the Awanui River through Kaitaia.

"It should also reduce the 'backwater effect' at bridges across the Awanui River through Kaitaia itself, as well as help floodwaters drain more quickly from Lake Tangonge," Mr Knight said.


He said floodgates on the river downstream of Kaitaia will be able to be open for longer before floods peak, as more water will flow down the spillway during a flood's early stages.