Pipeline project making progress

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by Chris Tobin

Progress is being made on a $20.9million project to renew the Timaru District Council’s Pareora pipeline.

The pipeline provides about 60% of Timaru’s annual water supply but parts of the existing pipeline, installed in the 1930s, were in poor condition.

About 37km of pipeline has to be replaced.

The tender for section one would close next week, the council was told at this week’s infrastructure committee meeting by senior programme delivery manager Ashley Harper.

A total of $8million has been included in the 2020-21 budget for the project.

As of July 30, $1.4million had been spent.

At the end of last year, Mr Harper, previously infrastructure group manager, was appointed to his new role after councillors and staff expressed concern over a backlog of big projects.

Cr Steve Wills asked Mr Harper if sufficient work was being done to future-proof the pipeline through unstable land.

The pipeline passes through some unstable land in Pareora Gorge.

Mr Harper said staff were looking at options what to do through the gorge with the possibility of using pipe which could move and flex with land movement.

Design for the project was 80% complete.

It was being funded by a loan within the urban water supply financial accounts, with the loan in turn financed by urban water supply ratepayers via the uniform annual charge for urban water.

Mr Harper said Covid-19 Alert Levels 2 and 3 could result in delaying the project and increasing the cost.

In his report to the committee, he said the $25.3million project to upgrade the Downlands water supply scheme was reaching the end of the design and consenting phase and the full amount required for the project had been included in the 2020-21 budget.

Preliminary design work for an upgrade of the Winchester-Geraldine roundabout had been completed. The council was funding 25% of the project, and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency was financing the remainder.