The Whāingaroa (Raglan) wharf is set to undergo a transformation in the coming month with the construction of a new pontoon, walkway, kayak ramp and balustrade.
Waikato District Council will get spades into the ground from mid-August 2022, starting with maintenance repairs on the wharf followed by the construction of the new pontoon and other works.
Council Community Connections manager Megan May says it is an exciting time for the Raglan community.
“It is fantastic see these projects that we sought feedback on last year finally kick off. The work will not only futureproof the wharf, but it will also make it more accessible for more people.”
The maintenance work is expected to take around three months to complete and the construction of the pontoon six months to complete, finishing in April 2023.
It includes repairing some areas of concrete and steel that have worn away over time on the underside of the wharf and will be carried out in stages.
“Safety is important to us, and to keep our contractors and visitors to the wharf safe during construction there will be times when parts of the wharf will be closed.
“There will also be a lot of noise produced by these works. This will be limited between the hours of 8am-5pm on weekdays and, when necessary, between 8am-12pm on the occasional Saturday,” May says.
To construct the pontoon and eastern walkway, Council contractors will start by building up the existing sea wall with rocks and then laying asphalt and concrete for the walkway and kayak ramp.
Council Project Delivery Team Leader Reuben Rink says a deep-sea ocean drill will also be used to put three piles in place which will hold the new pontoon.
“We’re still in the process of applying for consent to construct the pontoon but, if it is approved in the coming months, we expect to have the walkway, kayak ramp and piles complete before Christmas.”
The pontoon itself will be built off-site and then brought to the site by truck and lifted by crane into position early in the new year.
The boat ramp will open at all times throughout construction.
Rink says the construction of the third project, the Whāingaroa Wharf Walkways which includes tidal stairs, seating areas and other improvements to the look and feel of the wharf will be undertaken at a later date.
“Construction of the three wharf projects has had to be staggered due to a significant increase in construction costs since the start of Covid-19.
“This means we currently do not have funding available to start on the western walkway. However, we have applied for consent for this project which means, when funding does become available, we’ll be able to get started on construction straight away.”
The project will be put forward for funding in the next Long Term Plan.
“We’ll also be looking for other funding opportunities from the Government will allow us to undertake these works sooner,” Rink says.
Earlier this month, Waikato District Council also shared the draft Whāingaroa Harbour Strategy with the community.
Ngāti Māhanga and Ngāti Hourua representative Taruke Thomson says it is important Raglan residents check out the document and have their say.
“This document will ultimately shape how the harbour is cared for and maintained in the future so it’s important for people to share their thoughts on whether the draft that we have now hits the mark.”
Residents can view the draft strategy and share their feedback at www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/Whaingaroa-Harbour-Strategy.
Hardcopy surveys are also available from the Raglan Library and Council Office on Bow Street.
The wharf projects are being delivered in partnership with mana whenua and the Raglan Community Board.