The Leith River has undermined a section of its bank. Photo
by Jonathan Chilton-Towle.
The Dunedin City Council is monitoring a section of the
Water of Leith's bank that residents were concerned was at risk
Last week, a Leith Valley resident contacted the Star
with concerns that the river had undermined its banks beside
A section of retaining wall had fallen away creating a small
cave in the river bank which the Leith passed through.
The resident was concerned the gap made the bank unstable and
might put the public at risk because people often walked or
parked cars on the grassy verge above the river.
Otago Regional Council director engineering hazards and
science Gavin Palmer said the ORC was aware there had been
problems periodically at the location, most notably bank
erosion as a result of an April 2006 event.
''The DCC addressed this at the time as the threat was to
their infrastructure [public roads] as it may be now. That is
a matter that DCC will need to assess in terms of the road
reserve and the road itself,'' he said.
''This is outside the extents of the Leith Flood Protection
Scheme, however ORC is happy to advise DCC on the solutions
available to them to reduce the risk of further erosion of
the road reserve.''
Bank erosion was a natural process and the approach that
should be taken and the responsibility for acting on that
depended on the particular situation, he said.
''We are however reviewing our approach to management of
river banks, starting with the Kakanui/Kauru Rivers in North
DCC transportation policy engineer Jon Visser said the DCC
was aware of the erosion on the banks of the Leith.
''The Leith bed has been continually changing, since even
before the Dunedin city area was settled. The DCC has been
monitoring this particular location and is prepared to
intervene if required.
"The issue is general erosion of the unsupported bank. At
this stage, the DCC does not believe the erosion presents a
significant risk to the road or road reserve, although that
position may change,'' he said.