Carisbrook and Leith flood protection

Received from Rob Hamlin.
Monday, 27 May 2013 1:03 p.m.

Carisbrook on Sunday (26.5.13)

Carisbrook 26.5.13. Rob Hamlin 1
A picture of doomed dereliction – Innit? I tried to take photos of this last week, but the weather wasn’t good enough. I seem to recall that the comb lines in the manicured grass were going in a different direction then, indicating that further ratepayer-funded pampering has occurred this last week. What earthly reason can there be for the DCC to be spending money doing this on a structure that they claim they have a) sold and b) issued a demo permit for? Some seats are missing (but could be inside). The lights are gone, but Delta bought the last set anyway so why not ‘play it again Sam’?

Otago Regional Council – Leith Flood Protection Scheme

Water of Leith 001 (1)001 ‘Sad Sacking’
The results of the equally seawall-like doomed attempts by the ORC and their representatives to establish a million dollar[?] lawn in the middle of winter in the bottom of a drainage channel occupied by a major flood prone waterway (the Leith). An act of simply heroic lunacy. This is the aftermath of the minor flood last week. The proto-lawn is covered in sacking further up the river, except for the bit next to the water – that’s now wrapped around the post in the foreground. Luckily it did not end up in the harbour – although many tons of silt presumably did. No doubt the ORC will be able to issue itself with a retrospective resource consent for this uncontrolled discharge into the environment.

Water of Leith 002 (1)Water of Leith 004 (1)002, 004 ‘Washed away’
For weeks now and presumably at great expense to the ORC, the contractors (Lund if the site signs are to be believed) have been laying down what looks like micropore mat, hexagon reinforcement, and what looks like a very expensive chicken wire plastic mesh combo – stitched together. They then planted grass on it. This can be seen growing feebly on the slope in 002. Alas, the minor flood that dislodged the sacking also gently sluiced out the soil and grass from the expensively-laid reinforcements on the level parts of the lawn laid (lunacy) right up to the edge of the river.

Water of Leith. Robert Hamlin (1)000 gives a higher angle shot showing the artistry of this now exposed and empty (of soil) soil stabilisation system, along with the feeble grass above it. I am not sure how they will reposition the soil into this stuff short of ripping it up and starting again. Presumably if all this expensive stuff was intended to stop soil coming out, it will be equally good at resisting attempts to put it back in again by mechanical means. Oh dear!

Water of Leith 003 (1)003 ‘Mighty defences’
Here we have what is actually supposed to keep the Leith in the straight and narrow from now on. This is the concrete shuttering for an incomplete part of the bank (this shuttering is now filled with shyte from the flood). The wall when poured (one hopes after clearing out said shyte) will be a worthy successor to the St Clair seawall – it is about 12 inches tall and 8 inches thick. It is plastered onto the top of (rather than onto the front of as with the seawall) the remains of its more substantial predecessor. The lawn (in the areas where it used to be there) starts directly behind it…

Water of Leith 005 (1)005 ‘Classy concrete placing’
The mighty foot-high defences take an interesting course in the photograph taken looking up the left-hand bank from the Forth Street Bridge. I do not know if this feature-bulge in the mighty wall is the outcome of a molar-like architectural design feature to increase the organic appearance of the site or if it’s simply a concrete shuttering quality control issue. It’s your rates money – you decide.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Photos: Rob Hamlin (May 2013)


Filed under Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, ORC, People, Pics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Urban design

7 responses to “Carisbrook and Leith flood protection

  1. ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Jun 2013
    Uni plans may add to cost of scheme
    By Rebecca Fox
    A cheaper option for easing flooding concerns for Dunedin’s central city appears to have been ruled out by the University of Otago’s latest building plans. The university has confirmed it has no plans to remove its information technology services (ITS) building which straddles the Water of Leith ”at this time”, although it was flagged in its master plan.
    Improved protection along the Leith was needed for North Dunedin, the University of Otago campus and the central business district, to guard against major floods. The Otago Regional Council approved the latest version of the scheme in 2011 but had been completing work along the Leith in stages since 2006 and was doing work on the stream from the Leith footbridge to Forth St.
    Read more

    Leith scheme history (via ODT)
    1997: ORC first looks at works on the Water of Leith and Lindsay Creek
    2003: Dunedin urban flood protection scheme adopted
    2003: Opus contracted to provide scheme design
    2005: Council endorses scheme and public consulted
    2006: Rockside Rd work completed
    2006-07: Resource consents granted
    2008: Environment Court appeal held and declined
    2009: Opus provides updated costs
    2010: Campus master plan announced
    2010: Cumberland St to Dundas St work done
    2011: Council adopts $38.3 million scheme and drops Lindsay Creek component
    2012-13: Leith St footbridge to Forth St work under way

    Related Posts and Comments:
    31.5.13 University of Otago development plans
    9.6.10 Well f*** ANYONE who backs Campus Master Plan proposed demolition of post-1960s ARCHITECTURE
    17.5.10 Campus Master Plan
    28.1.10 University of Otago Campus Master Plan

  2. Anonymous

    Take a wander down to the School of Business and see how well the new floodbanks are performing…

  3. Anon, I did, and my advice is ‘don’t’. It will only leave one incredulous as to the stupidity of the whole exercise. Rob’s photo montage of the previous ‘mini flood’s’ depredations will pale into insignificance with this one. And face it, it is still a relatively minor event. Watch for a repeat of the ‘biggies’.

  4. I was interested to read an account in today’s ODT page 13, of the eulogising of high court judge Justice Lester Chisholm. I was particularly taken by the remarks of QC Royden Somerville, regarding the Justice’s support of Otago rugby. Retiring Justice Chisolm’s response was that he “started supporting Otago rugby when it “pinched” all of the players from Hawkes Bay, where he and his family lived.”

    It would be ‘churlish’ to suggest that he might just have had a slight ‘bias’, if not a ‘conflict of interest’ as judge sitting in on the STS challenge to the DCC and its influence in pushing through the controversial Stadium project. That it was, and is, primarily for the benefit of rugby, I just thought I would mention it.

    {Calvin, you started by saying “Mention of Carisbrook, see page 12 today’s ODT.” We can’t find the mention, please clarify – did you mean page 13? -Eds}

  5. Peter

    Wheels turn within wheels, a nod and a wink and before you know it you’re guaranteed a stadium that makes money for the few, but is propaganised as a community asset.
    No matter about the lies told in court. Where were the gun lawyers in town prepared to fight for justice?

  6. Mike

    I’m tempted to consider the current Leith issue is that they’ve been caught out, didn’t get the thing finished and bedded in before the rains came. The mistake here is probably that they didn’t start 3-6 months earlier, now they’re fighting the river they’re trying to tame.

    The basic design of digging out lots of dirt to provide more space for water to pond rather than rush through at high speed is sensible, it has to go somewhere and the alternative is for it to overflow.

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