Further flood protection work on the Water of Leith has
been delayed, following requests from the University of Otago.
The Otago Regional Council had planned to begin work to
increase the flood-carrying capacity of the stretch of Leith
in front of the university registry in the middle of last
It was estimated the work would cost $5.4 million, plus about
$204,000 from the university, to beautify the banks of the
While the works will be funded by rates, the university is
not a ratepayer.
Council engineering and natural hazards director Gavin Palmer
said the council had been unable to award the main civil
construction tender for the works as the university was
seeking a further agreement, before the contract could be
The regional council had intended to award the tender in
September and works were to have to begun as soon as
university exams finished in mid-November, to avoid
disruption as much as possible to the campus.
''We'd have like to have implemented the works programme we
had previously established with the university.''
Dr Palmer hoped an agreement could be reached before
Christmas, allowing discussions to be held with contractors
to see when work could start, as the tender applications had
been based on the original programme.
The delay meant the work was ''unlikely'' to be achieved
within the university holiday period.
University Property Services director Barry MacKay said the
university had requested an agreement with the regional
council that was based on the 2007 memorandum of
understanding ''that ensures the quality of the end product,
the timing and duration of the works, and ownership and
maintenance of the final completed works''.
As to when the agreement might be resolved, Mr MacKay said
the university had met the regional council last week and
given it a copy of the agreement.
As for the impact of the delay, the university had worked
with the regional council to ensure there was adequate
traffic and pedestrian management included in the contract
for when students return, he said.
In the meantime, the regional council had been able to begin
work to shift the underground services around the St David St
bridge, to allow work to begin as soon as possible.