An Auckland Council project to revitalise a stream in West Auckland won a major engineering accolade last week from the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand.
The La Rosa Gardens Reserve stream daylighting project was awarded the prestigious Arthur Mead Environmental Merit Award in the under $5 million category. The project liberated 180 metres of the Fairburn and Parahiku streams from lifeless underground pipes, restoring them to a more natural state.
Removing the pipes has improved the waterways’ ability to sustain life and their performance as part of the local stormwater drainage network.Natural features such as rocks, stones and tree branches were added to replicate the streams’ condition prior to them being piped, and new walkways and public artworks in the reserve has created a place where the community can connect with the natural environment.
Alongside the construction work, the project team also worked with the local community and held a series of planting days and community events.The judging panel was particularly impressed with the passion and commitment shown by the project team.
“The La Rosa Project was an exceedingly rewarding project for everybody involved – with a real commitment from everybody involved, especially the community who were as much a part of the project team as any of the engineers involved,” says Auckland Council’s stormwater manager, Craig McIlroy.
Auckland Council has an ongoing project to identify piped streams and to revitalise them by removing the pipes and restoring them to a more natural state.
These streams play an important role in enhancing the natural environment but more importantly are vital in managing stormwater overflow. However, many of Auckland’s streams have been directed through lifeless concrete pipes, harming their ecosystem and reducing their capacity to manage high levels of rain water.
Returning streams to a more natural form supports a greater level of biodiversity in and around the stream, and protects the stream banks from erosion.
The La Rosa Daylighting Project team was: Auckland Council (project management), HEB Construction Ltd (contractor), Andrew Stewart Ltd (community engagement), Ecomatters Trust (community engagement), Boffa Miskell (design and environmental consultancy) and Engineering Design Consultants (design).
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