The upgrade of Goring Street is underway again now that the national lockdown has ceased and we are able to continue works safely under alert level 2. The upgrade will see new seal, kerb and channel, footpaths and the first stage of stormwater improvements planned for the Tarawa Creek catchment.
Ōpōtiki District Council's Engineering and Services Group Manager, Ari Erickson said that street upgrades which include seal rehabilitation, widening, kerb and channel and footpath improvements across the township have been planned through numerous previous LTP's and have been slowly getting completed 1 at a time in line with historic funding levels. Since the last long term plan street upgrades have been accelerated due to a higher funding ratio from the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA).
"We know that Ōpōtiki locals are crying out for better footpaths and kerb and channel around town, historically Council has only been able to complete 1 block per year due to budget limitations, since 2019 however NZTA increased the financial assistance rate for Opotiki allowing us to complete as many as three blocks.
"For Goring St there was a common-sense opportunity to undertake necessary stormwater upgrades whilst the road and footpaths are under construction, saving on costs for both projects, minimising disruption for residents and avoiding pulling up the new footpaths to lay pipes later.
"What this means however is that stormwater improvements for the Tarawa Creek catchment have occurred in a bit of a reverse order. The Goring St stormwater improvement will make a difference during heavy rain events but not as much as it will once the downstream stormwater improvements are completed in subsequent years. These subsequent improvements include the Richard St stormwater trunk main, the Tarawa Creek ponding basin and the Tarawa Creek pump station upgrade."
"Effectively, the Goring Street stormwater works have jumped the queue - we are building it now because it is practical to align it with the street upgrade but if the road wasn't being upgraded we would complete the other projects first so as to realise the new pipes maximum drainage potential straight away." Mr Erickson said.
Works are expected to be completed by June.