Piles are set into the seabed near the Otakou wharf on
Wednesday by Port Otago's pile driver Rahitetoa, with two
small tender boats and the tug Kupe in attendance. Photo by
The first of eight temporary piles for sea-clarity
monitoring equipment have been driven into Dunedin's harbour
The equipment is part of Port Otago's ''next generation''
project to deepen and widen the 13km of channel from Port
Chalmers to Taiaroa Head, and the port company has just begun
to seek expressions of interest for the job from
international contractors. On Wednesday, two piles were
driven off the Otakou wharf to install the submerged
turbidity meters, which will measure and provide a base-line
during the next year on particles in the water and water
Port Otago general manager of infrastructure Lincoln Coe said
six more piles would be driven in around the harbour soon,
with those in navigable areas to carry lights. Meters and
lights would be solar-powered.
There would be one pile at Pulling Point, others near
Harwood, lower Portobello Bay, on Quarantine Island's
shoreline, at the northern tip of Pudding Is near Portobello
and near Roseneath.
Mr Coe said while the meters would not offer the public live
web-cam images, which could be of interest to fishers, they
would be able see a graphed interpretation from streamed data
on Port Otago's website indicating clarity levels.
Port Otago has 25-year resource consents in place to
undertake a wide range of dredging options.
Port Otago could dredge from the existing 13m depth to 14m
and remove 2 million cu m of spoil for $10 million, and at
the furthest extent dredge to 15m deep, at a cost of $35
million, to accommodate larger container vessels.
Mr Coe said no decision had yet been made, other than the
dredging depth would probably be within a range of 13.5m-14m.
A decision was ''quite some time away'' on whether Port Otago
or an international contractor would undertake the work.
Some environmentalists and coastal user groups have expressed
anger over the plan to dump spoil about 6km out at sea.