This project is part of a comprehensive programme of climate resilience work underway to protect Southland’s largest urban centre, Waihōpai Invercargill (population 57,000+) and critical infrastructure (Invercargill airport) from inundation. The latest climate resilience initiatives for the city include widening and raising the stop bank on the true left bank of the Waihōpai River between North Road and Stead Street. Widening the stop bank makes it more robust. It also allows for the height of the stop bank to be raised further, if required, as our understanding of the impacts of climate change and climate models change over time.
To complement this work, Invercargill City Council has replaced the existing Stead Street stop bank with a sheet pile wall and widened and raised the height of the adjoining Cobbe Road stop bank.
Together the projects will systematically begin to address the vulnerabilities Waihōpai Invercargill has to climate change and provide much more resilient flood defences for our community and the city’s critical infrastructure.
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Construction started in January 2023, with seventy per cent of the work completed by July. Work is suspended over winter while the ground conditions are too wet. The eastern Waihōpai River stop bank upgrade will be completed 2023-24 construction season.