Fish and Slips


The Humber Street bridge and adjacent creek have long been a part of Oamaru history. Early in the Victorian era the creek was the only source of water, aside from that collected in rain tanks and residents used it for drinking, for washing clothes, kids played in it, it was water for livestock and people also disposed of household waste into it too! This all changed, thank goodness, when the borough water scheme became operational in 1880.

The Humber Street bridge was completed in 1902 to allow vehicle traffic to travel easily between Humber and Tyne Streets. At this time the harbour was the heart of the town, but this was changing following the railway station shifting from the harbour to Humber Street in 1900.

Fast forward a hundred years and the bridge was renewed in 2011 and in 2017 the road was washed out during a flood event which required repairs to bridge components, the road carriageway and embankments.
Recent erosion of the creek bed has allowed the Oamaru creek to flow behind the bridge abutment which washes out the gravels that form the road. Waitaki District Council Roading installed speed bumps to reduce speed across the slumping area and to highlight the hazard to road users. Now Otago Regional Council consent approval allows for works to fill the area under the abutment with formed concrete to prevent gravels from being eroded by the creek flow. 

Recreation Construction will complete the concrete works with Banks Building Services providing the Coffer dam which is placed to divert the creek flow to allow access to the bridge abutment and continued fish passage as this is the season for fish spawning when fish use the thoroughfare under the road as an aquatic superhighway. 

Access to the work area is limited and the bridge will be closed to all traffic from Monday 27th July for 10 days. Alternative routes proposed are Itchen Street, Lower Thames and Wear Streets. 

Page reviewed: 15 Jul 2020 10:23am