Pakihikura to be closed to all river traffic
Ōpōtiki harbour contractors, HEB Construction, have been working closely with the Bay of Plenty Harbourmaster to ensure that dredging works can continue without risks to boaties in the area. Together they have made the decision to close the river to boat traffic during the work week, re-opening each weekend.
David Wyeth is HEB’s Senior Project Manager overseeing the $100 million Harbour construction project. He explained that the decision had been made to ensure the safety of workers and other boat users during these initial dredging operations.
“From 5 September, Pakihikura will be closed to all boat traffic around and through the Ōpōtiki bar. We’re erecting signs at the boatramp, and we’re working with the Harbourmaster and Coastguard as well.
“It means Monday to Friday, boaties won’t be able to use the area day or night. The river will re-open on weekends (6pm Friday until 8am Monday) and public holidays. Coastguard will be able to get through for emergencies and whitebaiters will be able to access the riverbanks up to the dredge pipeline.
“We realise that it will be quite disruptive, but it will keep our workers and other river users safe for the next couple of months during these initial dredging works. The closure will remain in place until 15 December when we’ll make sure the area is safe to open during the busier summer holiday period.
“We expect to dredge a channel around the works to enable free access around river operations in the New Year.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience during this period,” Mr Wyeth said.
The Opotiki Marine Advisory Group were advised of the closure proposal last week and agreed that the closure was a good safety measure and that boaties would benefit in the long run for a short period of disruption.