24 February 2021
A large portion of Council’s financial investment is hidden in and below the ground in Rotorua.
This year Council will be investing around $30 million in renewing, upgrading and adding infrastructure assets across the district. This is investment required to keep infrastructure stable and reliable for our communities.
With summer being the most opportune time for construction, Council staff and contractors have been working through a number of projects as part of the annual infrastructure asset management programme.
These renewal and maintenance projects are carried out in parallel to larger and more visible scale upgrades such as the new Kaharoa water reservoir and the King Street stormwater upgrades.
Infrastructure Group Manager Stavros Michael says that a lot of major investment in infrastructure goes unnoticed because it’s just becomes part of daily life.
“We are continuously investing in infrastructure whether it’s a minor improvement to a footpath or a reseal of a local road, to significant projects such as sewerage schemes or water supply reservoirs. Council owns and operates infrastructure assets worth some $1.4 billion. Targeted, systematic and effective interventions are required to keep these assets reliable and in good condition.
“Often people don’t notice how much work actually goes on because it’s so widespread across the district and because once the work is done, it’s usually hidden away under the ground.”
The 2020/2021 capital investment programme is set out in the Annual Plan alongside all other investment planned across each Council sector. The full capital investment programme for 2020/2021 is $117,103,590.
We have listed just a few of the Infrastructure projects underway or completed - investment in these projects is almost $10 million:
Rotoiti water supply upgrade:
Council recently upgraded the water supply tanks at Gisborne Point and replaced the existing concrete tanks with new polyethylene tanks. The renewal improves the resiliency of the tanks and also increased storage for residents in Rotoiti from 198m3 to 270m3. The cost of the renewal almost $90,000 in total.
Additional treatment function for Whakarewarewa Forest water fountains
Council has completed work to install two solar powered UV treatment and filtration devices to the water fountains in Whakarewarewa Forest. The new systems are a mini version of what each of the major water supplies have and will provide additional protection against the unlikely event of water contamination. The new systems were added to fountains that were already in place within the forest. A new fountain has also been added near the water tank on Tarawera Road. The investment in the new systems was $11,000. These improvements recognise the significant use of the forest and the need to ensure that the public’s health is protected.
Water network renewals
Council’s contractors have been working in the following streets to renew water supply infrastructure to residential properties. This involves installing new water pipes by directional drilling (this minimises disruption to the public). The pipe is then tested for leaks and disinfected. It can then be connected to the existing water network. The total cost of water network renewals in 2020/2021 is $1.5 million.
- Wrigley Road
- Kamahi Place
- Pegasus Drive
- Mansfield Place
- Baxter Place
- Bronte Place
- Gareth Place
- Kowhai Street
- Sumner Street
- Hunt Crescent
- Firth Place
- Paul Street
- Crystal Place
- Jet Place
- Roy Road
Eastern Water Supply
The water source for the Eastern suburbs of Rotorua is located within the Whakarewarewa Forest. From there it is piped to Tarawera Road where it is fully treated. A section of this pipeline was recently duplicated to increase the resilience of the water supply. The investment cost for this work was $630,000.
Kaharoa Water Supply
Council is in the process of building a new 500m3 reservoir and taking the existing 1000m3 reservoir offline for repairs and then recommissioning. The addition of a new reservoir will provide extra storage capacity to buffer times of peak water demand and to provide continuity of supply while the existing reservoir is repaired. The investment in the new reservoir and repair work is more than $1.2 million.
Local road upgrades
Traffic calming – Kawaha Point Road and Ford Road
Two local roads will be upgraded with traffic calming features to help reduce vehicle speeds and improve safety for pedestrians, people riding bikes and other motorists.
The addition of speed platforms in Kawaha Point Road and Ford Road is a result of requests from the community to help make the area safer. Speed platforms encourage motorists to drive at slower speed and take more care as they travel along the road.
The total investment into the road calming features for both streets is more than $190,000.
Road foundation rehabilitation
When the underlying foundation of a road starts to break down it needs to be completely replaced. This involves digging out the road structure and replacing all the layers right up to the seal on the surface. There are four roads that will have this treatment during the 2020/2021 financial year:
- Long View Road
- Nicholson Road
- Martin Street
- Riri Street
The total investment into the road rehabilitation at the four locations will be more than $1.3 million.
Urban roads reseals
Most people will have driven through one of the various road work sites across the district. The seal on the road is like paint on a house – it keeps water out of the structure underneath. Like paint, road seal breaks down over time and water gets in. This is the main cause of road surfaces deterioration and can cause major damage to the road making it costly to repair. Council has an ongoing reseal programme that helps to protect local roads before that damage can occur.
The ideal time to reseal is summer because the heat helps to set the chip material in the tar seal and allows the road surface to settle before the wet winters.
This summer 53km of road will be resealed at a total cost of $2.84m
Rural road seal extensions
In the 2020/2021 financial year Puaiti Road (Waikite Valley) and Hoko Road (Te Waerenga Rd) will be upgraded from gravel to chip seal. The total cost of this work is $800,000. These are on-going works to further improve our rural roads network that currently has some 130 kms of unsealed roads.
Four culverts will be replaced this financial year. A culvert is a large pipe that sits under a road and allows stormwater to flow safely under the road. Over time a culvert can become damaged, blocked and broken and will fail to protect the road and the road users above. In addition failed culverts can increase the flooding risk to road surfaces and any adjoining properties.
This work involves removing the old culvert pipes and replacing them with new and better quality or higher capacity pipes. This work can take some time due to the traffic management requirements, environmental compliance, installation and final road resealing.
Culvert replacements will take place in the following locations:
- Galatos Road new culvert
- Tarawera Road new culvert
- Rotokawa Road culvert
- Dalbeth Road culvert (finished)
The approximately costs of the above work will be more than $1 million.
- Paradise Valley stream stabilisation – this work will strengthen the road banks along the stream edges. Total cost to be confirmed.
- Oturoa Road corner realignment – this work will improve the safety of the road for motorists by improving visibility. This work will costs more than $140,000.