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Edgecumbe township flood defences to be replaced

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

The floodwall adjacent to College Road, Edgecumbe, in the Bay of Plenty is getting replaced. This is the final stage of the Rangitāiki River Floodwalls project to replace three floodwalls downstream of the 2017 Edgecumbe flood breach site (which was near Edgecumbe College). Construction started on December 6, 2022.

This project was prompted by the discovery of seepage (the slow escape of water through spongey earth) at three floodwall sites along the Rangitāiki River (Greig Road, Thornton School and College Road) and is part of the BOP Regional Council’s ongoing work to upgrade flood defences around the rohe. 

With the Grieg Road and Thornton School floodwall upgrades complete, work is now underway on the College Road floodwalls. Construction is scheduled to be completed by mid-2023.
BOP Regional Council Project Manager Mark Werpachowski says upgrading the floodwalls is an important part of the overall defences on the Rangitāiki River, which will help minimise and manage the risk to the community. 

“With the increased likelihood of more frequent, heavy rain events, BOP Regional Council is continually investing in and innovating our flood defences across the rohe. 
“These new floodwalls will form part of a wider network of recently upgraded flood protection defences along the Rangitāiki River, including the Rangitāiki Floodway and Spillway development and future work in the lower catchment.” 

The new College Road flood defences are built by driving sheet piles (large sheets of steel with interlocking edges) into the ground and encasing them with concrete capping. This design will provide more effective seepage control below ground. While construction is underway, the existing floodwall will remain and continue to provide the current level of flood protection. This will be deconstructed in stages as the new wall is installed.