01 Feb 2018

Dredging is under way in the Woolston Cut.

Over the years a thick layer of sediment has built up in the Woolston Cut, reducing its capacity to handle stormwater during heavy rain.

Contractors engaged by Christchurch City Council are now dredging the Cut to remove the build-up of silt and deepen the channel.

Contractors prepare to dredge the Woolston Cut.

Contractors are preparing to dredge the Woolston Cut.

“The dredging will increase the capacity of the Woolston Cut so it can take more water from the Heathcote. This work complements the other flood management projects we are working on in the Heathcote catchment to reduce the risk of private properties flooding,’’ says Council Land Drainage Manager Keith Davison.

The dredging of the Woolston Cut requires several small dams to be built within the existing channel so that a long reach excavator can be used to remove the sediment.

The material dredged from the Cut will be loaded onto trucks and transported to landfill sites for disposal.

Temporary haul roads will need to be built to give the trucks access to the river banks.

The dredging work is being done in three stages:

  • The first stage covers the section of the Woolston Cut from the barrage gates to Rutherford Street.
  • The second stage covers the section between Rutherford Street and the Gould Street footbridge.
  • The third stages covers the section from the Gould Street footbridge to the Heathcote River confluence.

Each section will be fenced off while the contractors are working on it. There will be no public access to the river and the walkways within that section until work is completed.

“To minimize the impact for people in the area, only one section will be closed to the public at a time. As soon as we finish work on one section, we will reopen that area to the public. The plan is to have all three sections on the cut completed by the winter,’’ Mr Davison says. 

“We are also in the process of investigating and planning for the dredging of the Heathcote River between Hansen Park and the Woolston Barrage. If all goes according to plan and we get the necessary approvals from Council, we hope to make a start on the Heathcote dredging around the middle of the year.’’