A drilling rig will be seen near Whakatāne CBD stopbanks in coming days, as the Bay of Plenty Regional Council undertakes investigative work set out in its Long Term Plan.

Environmental Engineer Kent Jacobsen says the tractor-mounted geotech rigs will be taking bore samples at three sites within about 200 metres of the Otuawhaaki Visitor Information Centre.

“The sampling is part of gathering information about the physical properties of the ground on which the stopbanks are built and the nature of the flood defence systems. In conjunction with the ground testing, our investigations include a desk-top analysis of existing reports, historical records and knowledge of the area. This combined information will help us form a recommendation to Council on what work may be needed to address the seepage through the stopbanks around Otuawhaaki and Quay Street when the Whakatane River has high storm driven flows.”

Access to parts of the Warren Cole Walkway may be closed during the geotech work. Kakahoroa Drive and Quay Street will need to be temporarily closed to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic, expected for a day each. Traffic management on the day will advise on road closures and alternative routes.