Infrastructure upgrades in Western Heights
18 August 2020
Infrastructure upgrades in Western Heights will help to accommodate development, provide better management of stormwater in the area during major events, and will support safe and sustainable transport for more residents.
The $2.1 million upgrades in Western Heights will improve the area's stormwater systems enabling more development, alleviating flooding and also allow the construction of a planned shared path along Clayton Road to increase connectivity for active modes users.
The stormwater infrastructure improvements will increase the capacity of the roadside drains and capture stormwater water runoff that flows down from catchment on the slopes of Mt Ngongotaha. The added capacity will accommodate for increasing development in the area and be better prepared for severe weather events.
Construction involves converting the estimated 375 metres of open drains on Clayton Road to underground pipes, which will create space to build a shared path on the surface. This will connect with the shared path at Pukehangi Road, and help to provide a safer and more direct route for local school students and active commuters.
You can learn more about Rotorua's comprehensive shared path network, here.
Originally, the project was due to start in March but was paused due to the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions. These upgrades to the existing stormwater system in the Pukehangi/Western Heights area are progressing steadily and expected to be complete by the end of October 2020.
The community have responded well to the traffic management procedures in place during construction, and have been patient and accommodating while the works progress.
Council currently maintains over 250km of piped networks and 150km of open channels that form the city's stormwater network.
In the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, the capital spend on Rotorua's stormwater systems is budgeted at $38.9 million total, for the 10-year period. This expenditure is critical to maintaining the functionality of existing assets and meeting the demands of growth and environmental changes.