Extra Leith bridge useful as construction delayed

Work continues on the Otago Regional Council's flood protection scheme on the Water of Leith in front of the University of Otago's registry building. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Work continues on the Otago Regional Council's flood protection scheme on the Water of Leith in front of the University of Otago's registry building. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The University of Otago is not worried about flood prevention work on the Water of Leith taking longer than expected, but has been vindicated for insisting on a temporary bridge.

Construction delays mean Otago Regional Council's $5.4 million flood protection works in front of the university's registry building are now expected to be completed by August, instead of this month, as originally scheduled.

Chief operating officer John Patrick said at this week's council meeting the university was not too concerned about the delays.

''We need a good job and if that takes a little bit of extra time ... we are reasonably happy with that.''

He discussed the merits of a $110,000 temporary footbridge, installed by contractors in March to take the place of the St David St footbridge - which had been closed so it could be extended to give greater flow during flooding.

While the contractor felt the bridge was not needed, as there were alternative crossings, the university felt it was ''absolutely essential'', Mr Patrick said.

A university staff member counted the number of people who used the bridge and found it was crossed between 3500 and 4000 times a day.

- vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz