North Mole construction to commence
Published on 06 December 2021
Work to reinstate and repair the North Mole is set to commence mid-December in another major milestone for Te Pūwaha – the Whanganui Port revitalisation project.
The construction work will cover the length of the embankment from the end of the North Mole to the Whanganui Port. This work, along with scheduled works to repair the South Mole, is vital to enable an operational port as they define the river mouth and ensure a navigable depth is maintained for vessels. Repairing the moles is also necessary to protect nearby developments and critical city infrastructure from flooding.
This project, under Te Pūwaha, is being managed by Horizons Regional Council and undertaken by Cashmore Contracting Ltd., with works expected to continue until November 2022. While construction is taking place, there will be limitations on public access to the North Mole and embankment, with no access permitted in the construction areas.
Public access to the area from the carpark at the top of the North Mole, through to the end of the Mole will be restricted for three to four months from January 2022. This is to enable construction on this complex portion of the project to be completed during the summer months while the weather is generally calmer. However, there is some good news for recreational users.
“While public access will be limited throughout the construction period, we are conscious of the recreational value of the area and the importance of fishing for the local community,” says Horizons group manager river management Craig Grant.
“With that in mind, we have created a construction plan to enable recreational and fishing access at all times to certain areas along the 900 metre length of the works.
“While this may be at times frustrating for those who regularly fish off the Mole, we appreciate their patience as the reward will be a much safer Mole, with debris removed, and walkable access to the end.”
Public access to the entire area will also be made available over the two week Christmas and New Year period. In addition, while there will be no access to the carpark on top of the Mole for three to four months, the sealed carpark at the end of Morgan Street will be accessible to the public at all times. Sand will be managed during construction to ensure it is kept clear for vehicles.
The reinstatement and repair of the North Mole is jointly funded by Horizons Regional Council, Whanganui District Council, and Kānoa - Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit. In addition to this funded structural work, Te Pūwaha project leaders have prepared an aspirational concept plan for the North Mole and surrounding area.
Te Pūwaha governance group member Jock Lee has been involved with facilitating this work.
“We are working collectively to create a community amenity we can all be proud of, one in which we can celebrate the importance of the Whanganui River, and of course continue to do the things we love to do such as fishing and surfing,” he says.
The activities planned under the North Mole concept require additional funding avenues and partnerships need to be sourced to ensure they come to fruition. These proposed activities are likely to be carried out over a number of years.
In the meantime, community engagement on the project is ongoing, and members of the public can register their interest for updates by visiting www.whanganui.govt.nz/port.