Sink­ing street hits $100,000 in costs


‘‘There's a lot of data to be re­viewed.’’

Seep­ing drainage, three bro­ken stormwa­ter pipes and the in­stal­la­tion of a tem­po­rary road around Porirua’s ‘sink­ing street’ have cost ratepay­ers about $100,000.

The north­ern end of Al­ba­tross Close, in the Porirua sub­urb of Whitby, sank a few feet in some ar­eas dur­ing Au­gust af­ter move­ments in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber last year.

The road has been closed since then for ex­ca­va­tion to en­able en­gi­neers to in­ves­ti­gate the cause. But the rea­sons be­hind the ground move­ment re­main un­known.

Ex­ca­va­tion be­gan late last month, mean­ing a tem­po­rary road had to be cut be­tween Samwell Drive and the En­deav­our Park car park so res­i­dents could ac­cess their homes.

A lack of answers re­gard­ing the sink­age, as well as de­lays cre­ated by the one-way sys­tem on the tem­po­rary road, have left res­i­dents feel­ing frus­trated.

Melanie Camp­bell, who lives on Seag­ull Place, said the tem­po­rary traf­fic lights that con­trolled ac­cess to Al­ba­tross Close and her own street cre­ated long de­lays. Many res­i­dents were sim­ply ig­nor­ing the sig­nals, creat­ing a road haz­ard, she said.

The coun­cil’s un­der­ground checks re­vealed three bro­ken drainage pipes un­der Al­ba­tross Close. They had be­come dis­con­nected from the sys­tem af­ter they were ei­ther cracked or bent from the force of shift­ing soil.

Olivia Dovey, the coun­cil’s act­ing chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said the pipes had been fixed by Wed­nes­day, but in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cause of the ground move­ment were on­go­ing.

‘‘There’s a lot of data to be re­viewed and it will take a num­ber of weeks be­fore the full pic­ture can be un­der­stood and an ap­pro­pri­ate so­lu­tion [is] de­signed and im­ple­mented.’’

The work had taken longer than ex­pected af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tions were widened to get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the ground con­di­tions, she said.

As a re­sult, the road will be closed un­til Oc­to­ber 13.

‘‘We hope to be able to open the road be­fore this date, but have built in con­tin­gency time to al­low for de­lays to weather de­pen­dent ac­tiv­i­ties, such as seal­ing,’’ Dovey said.

The Whitby Walk­way also re­mains closed as a safety pre­cau­tion.

While the coun­cil has yet to de­ter­mine the ex­act cost of the works, they es­ti­mate the in­ves­ti­ga­tions stage will cost ap­prox­i­mately $100,000.

This in­cludes the tem­po­rary road costs, in­clud­ing fenc­ing hire and chip seal­ing of about $36,000.

Con­trac­tors will re­in­state the orig­i­nal road once the work is com­plete. The al­ter­na­tive road will be closed and kept as a back-up should it be needed in the fu­ture.

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