‘More than a boardwalk’
A timber boardwalk along a solitary 180-metre estuary strip at South Brighton where only the cries of gulls pierce the air will restore a pathway through nature, backers say.
The original boardwalk, from the end of Caspian St to South Brighton domain, was crippled by the earthquakes and finished off by a run of storms.
The $180,000 Christchurch City Council project went ahead at the insistence of the Coastal Burwood Community Board which feared the boardwalk would be lost.
Board member Tim Sintes said news of its progress had brought hundreds of great comments.
‘‘It’s more than just a boardwalk. It’s a vote of confidence for the community that we are retaining some of our wonderful assets.
‘‘People can walk in silence and serenity, far from roads and traffic, with only the birds and stunning views of the mountains and estuary.’’
Contractor Bushnell Builders project foreman Scott Tree said the timber was recycled from a boardwalk in Halswell.
‘‘We’ve adopted a repair strategy that will make it stronger than the original. The earthquake pushed it around but the storms finished it off,’’ he said.
‘‘This one will be able to withstand being submerged.
‘‘It’s a job worth a lot of heart and soul. It’s a pathway through nature for everybody to enjoy. Lots of families raised their chil- dren on that boardwalk. They learned to walk, to ride a bike on it. It means a lot to a lot of people.’’
The job had been weather and tide-dependent.
‘‘We worked in southerlies, easterlies and waders to try to push through to finish the job,’’ Tree said.
Boulders were being brought in to supplement the existing rocks to protect the boardwalk and allow water into the estuary where the tidal flat under the board walk supported the ecosystem.
Board member Linda Stewart said, historically, the boardwalk was an attraction to visitors from across the city as well as local residents, adding a ‘significant’ enjoyment to a circuit walk.
Visitors would park on Bridge St and walk the estuary track past the jetty to the boardwalk bridge. There, they would drink in the wide, open aspect and view the birdlife before returning past the radio tower to complete a loop walk.