Stadium floor designed to beat rising sea

A minimum floor level of about 3m should make sure the Forsyth Barr Stadium will not succumb to the sea level rise predicted for Dunedin, Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) says.

A report released on Monday identified the harbourside shoreline as a "hot spot" vulnerable to what could be a sea level rise of up to 1.6m by 2090.

The report on the effects of climate change in Dunedin, commissioned by the Dunedin City Council and written by University of Otago emeritus professor of geography Blair Fitzharris, said rising sea levels in the area would lead to inundation of infrastructure, including roads and railways.

That would happen especially during northeast storm surges and king tides.

It was possible to raise that infrastructure in ongoing stages when regular maintenance work was done until 2040, although by 2090 the rise "may be accelerating at such a rate that other options may be required".

Asked whether the stadium could be threatened by the rise, a DVML spokeswoman said the minimum floor level for the facility was about 3m, including the grass pitch.

Engineer David Hamilton said during hearings in 2008 on a district plan change to allow the stadium to go ahead the issue of climate change, rising sea levels and flooding were "all addressed" by the minimum floor level.

The hearing commissioners accepted that suggestion in their decision.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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