Motuoapa Marina moves an island

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Redevelopment sees major earthworks to create more dock space.

Motuoapa Marina on the southern shore of New Zealand's Lake Taupo recently marked the completion of its latest redevelopment, a process which involved the removal of an entire island and the construction of 158 new berths.

Built more than 50 years ago servicing the small village of Motuoapa, a popular fishing spot on Lake Taupo, the old marina was unusual in that it featured an island in the middle of its basin with short finger piers around the edge.

When the go-ahead was given in 2016 to redevelop the site, it was decided to remove the island and extend the breakwall to the north of the site with reclaimed land.

One tonne bags of gravel were brought in to build a dam at the marina’s entrance and, once the access was blocked, contractors began pumping water out of the basin. The water level was taken down to just over a metre deep at which point dredging equipment was used to dismantle the island with the soil being used to reclaim the additional land. This created a new area to be used as picnic, recreation and parking areas for guests.

“It’s an exciting time for our community,” said, Toni Maulder, deputy harbourmaster. “The project was complex but the new marina was well worth the wait. It allows boats to be berthed safely in deeper, cleaner water with modern compliant facilities for berth holders and the general public to enjoy.”

The new marina configuration, constructed by Bellingham Marine, comprises 158 berths and over 1,600km² of new concrete floating docks. The berths range in size from 8 to 14 metres while the new docks feature FRP thru-rods and aluminium pile guides.

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