Dredging of the Opureora Channel will start this April, to restore all-tide access between Omokoroa and Matakana Island.
The Opureora Channel is a primary access-way for boat traffic between Matakana Island and the mainland at Omokoroa, says Bay of Plenty Regional Council Project Manager Bruce Gardner.
Dredging the access channel will restore all-tide ferry access to Matakana Island. Photo: Supplied.
“It’s a critical lifeline for island residents that need to access emergency services, transport goods, and conduct their work or personal business on the mainland. Over the years sediment movement in Tauranga Harbour has caused a shallowing of the channel limiting access to the Matakana Island wharf and jetty at Opureora, especially at low tide,” says Bruce.
Bay Of Plenty Regional Council has contracted Hydra-Care (NZ) Ltd of Thames to dredge the channel. Hydra-Care has wide experience in dredging projects throughout New Zealand including marine dredging and municipal waste treatment ponds, says Bruce.
Following site set-up from mid-March, dredging is scheduled to start on Monday April 3, and will continue for approximately eight weeks. Dredging work is not expected to interfere with normal boat access around the jetty, wharf or channel area.
Hydra-Care will be using a cutter suction head on a long reach excavator to do the dredging. The excavator will sit on a barge that has legs to hold it in place. The dredged sand will be pumped to the Opureora Spit through a floating welded steel pipeline. It will then be de-watered and spread in defined areas on the Spit foreshore to re-nourish the beach.
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