Canopies in danger of ripping
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.