The NZ Transport Agency’s contractors are removing two mature kowhai trees this week on the Frankton side of the Kawarau Falls bridge.
“An arborist completed a trial excavation alongside the kowhai trees, which shows that they are very unlikely to be successfully relocated in another place, which was the preference,” says Phil Dowsett, Transport Agency Senior Project Manager. The ground in the area is sandy and gravelly so the root balls of the trees will not hold together to enable relocation. The trees will be replaced at a later date.
The relocation is necessary for the next stage of earthworks needed for the nearby new Kawarau Falls bridge and the shared walking and cycling track leading onto and off the existing historic bridge.
The historic turbine on the site has recently been relocated and is being stored off site.
The sapling kowhai tree planted to commemorate the turning of the first sod at the new bridge last year has also been safely relocated to avoid damage during this period of earthworks. It will be replanted close to the same position when the earthworks are completed next year.