Canopies in dan­ger of rip­ping

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The Canopies could po­ten­tially rip some time in the next 12 months and will be re­moved soon, Porirua City coun­cil­lors were told last week.

The coun­cil has bud­geted $200,000 in the next year to look at de­signs to re­place the fab­ric, which has been in place since 1995. The fab­ric had a guar­an­teed life of 10 years with an ex­pected life of 20 years.

Peter Bai­ley, the coun­cil’s gen­eral man­ager as­set man­age­ment and op­er­a­tions, said test­ing and anal­y­sis in­di­cated the Canopies would be un­safe in 12 months’ time.

An en­gi­neer’s re­port said there was al­ready sur­face crack- ing and holes near the peak, which could lead to rip­ping in high winds.

‘‘ The pru­dent course is to move now and re­place the cov­ered area as soon as pos­si­ble,’’ Bai­ley said at Te Komiti on Thurs­day.

The re­port to the coun­cil said a de­tailed de­sign re­place­ment, likely with clear pan­els, was the ap­pro­pri­ate way for­ward. The struc­ture of the col­umns and ca­bles will re­main.

It is ex­pected that $3 mil­lion, from the city cen­tre re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion budget, will be re­quired for re­moval, man­u­fac­ture and in­stal­la­tion of the new Canopies, pos­si­bly in 2015 or 2016.

City coun­cil­lor Ken Dou­glas said there would be eco­nomic dis­rup­tion to businesses in the CBD as the fab­ric was re­placed, so it was im­por­tant the coun­cil was on the front foot.

‘‘This has some se­ri­ous sig­nif­i­cance to the pub­lic and we have to be care­ful to man­age this,’’ he said.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said the po­ten­tial dis­rup­tion would be a sig­nal that se­ri­ous cap­i­tal in­vest­ment in Porirua’s city cen­tre was hap­pen­ing.

‘‘ We don’t know what the re­place­ment will look like, but we’re go­ing to see sig­nif­i­cant change in this area for the first time in 20 years,’’ he said.

The pub­lic will have the chance to com­ment on the plan next April.

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