The Waikato Regional Council is holding an open day to see Paeroa’s new floodgates in action.
The open day is being held on August 11 from 9am to 11am, to demonstrate how the mechanical gates work and talk about why they are so important to protect the community.
“The floodgates, which fill the gap in the stopbank where State Highway 26 runs through, were installed in August last year and as yet have not been used during a flood event,” says a Waikato Regional Council spokesperson.
“They were built by Flood Control International, in the United Kingdom, who build flood protection assets all across the world, and are the biggest gates the company has ever built.
“The gates slide along a rail across the road, near the Criterion Bridge, and when they meet they get lowed about 30-40 millimetres for a perfect seal.”
Before the gates were installed, Waikato Regional Council staff had to construct a Lego type wall to hold back floodwaters from the Ohinemuri River. The pieces were very heavy and it took 10 to 12 staff up to an hour to build the wall between the stopbanks, and it was always touch and go to get it done before the water came through.
For the open day event, SH26 at the Criterion Bridge will be closed to all traffic except for emergency services.
“Come on foot if possible, limited parking will be available at Paeroa College and the side car park at Work and Income.”
A road closure will also be in place overnight on August 7-8 from 8pm to 4am for the purpose of testing and maintenance of the new floodgates.
Detours will be in place diverting SH26 traffic via Paeroa Tahuna Road and Awaiti Road.