South Port New Zealand taps local contractor for dredging works

Photo: Heron Construction Company

South Port New Zealand has contracted local firm Heron Construction Company to remove fractured or fragmented rock that remains in the port entrance channel following previous dredging campaigns.

The work will be carried out under an existing coastal permit already issued by Environment Southland under the Resource Management Act. This will enable South Port to remove any already blasted or fragmented rock that remains in the channel from previous capital dredging campaigns from over 40 years ago.

Blasting of the channel completed in the 1980s saw some fragmented rock unable to be retrieved due to the engineering limitations of dredging machinery available at the time. This fractured rock is a potential impediment to planned future capital dredging operations, which are the subject of a current resource consent application.

The proposed six-week clearance work does not include any blasting activity.

South Port anticipates dredging to commence between August 15 and 21 and be completed towards the end of September 2022. There are several variables associated with a project such as this, and therefore the timeline is subject to change.

Given that the dredging plant remains stationary while in operation, South Port expects that there will be little or no impact on commercial or recreational users of the channel.

The South Port Marine Team will be managing access to the channel for larger vessels coming into port, with the dredging plant relocating outside the channel boundary to allow ships to navigate safely.

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