Slips can’t be fixed for­ever

North Shore Times - - FRONT PAGE - JAY BORE­HAM

The vi­a­bil­ity of con­tin­u­ing to re­me­di­ate coastal ero­sion-prone sites is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by Auck­land Coun­cil, as it be­gins $30 mil­lion of work to fix some storm dam­age.

The coun­cil is deal­ing with 139 sites in need of re­pair on Com­mu­nity Fa­cil­i­ties land across the re­gion, and there were many more slips on top of this, geotech­ni­cal and ge­o­log­i­cal prac­tice lead Ross Roberts told Hi­bis­cus and Bays Lo­cal Board mem­bers in an up­date on work be­ing car­ried out in the board’s area.

Most slips oc­curred in March last year, and re­cent bad weather caused fur­ther coastal dam­age, Roberts said.

Sites had been pri­ori­tised by clas­si­fy­ing risks to the coun­cil and mem­bers of the pub­lic, he said.

Ranked at the top were Te Araroa Trail seg­ments Lo­tus Walk in Browns Bay and Crows Nest Walk in Mur­rays Bay.

At Lo­tus Walk, the cliff face had fallen away un­der­min­ing the cliff top-to-bot­tom path and, at Crows Nest Path, a sec­tion of weath­ered soil three me­tres deep was slid­ing off the top of the cliff.

As part of re­me­dial work de­signs, long-term vi­a­bil­ity needed to be se­ri­ously con­sid­ered, Roberts said.

Sites like Crows Nest, where there was ev­i­dence of a pre­vi­ous walk five me­tres out on now nonex­is­tent cliff top, flagged is­sues of ac­tively re­treat­ing cliffs and coast­line, Roberts said.

‘‘Th­ese paths are go­ing to con­tinue to get dam­aged, and over time we will get to a point where there is no pu­bic land left and we are into pri­vate land ... and then the op­tions be­come very limited.’’

Coastal and geotech­ni­cal ser­vices team man­ager Paul Klinac said the same think­ing on cost and vi­a­bil­ity was be­ing ap­plied to coastal struc­tures like sea­walls and beach ac­cess ways.

‘‘We haven’t com­pleted all of that think­ing yet. It has been very much, with the most re­cent storms, get on and fix it and re­open th­ese ac­cess ways.’’

But coun­cil of­fi­cers were try­ing to em­bed long-term strate­gies within re­me­dial frame­work, Klinac said. ‘‘It will get worse over time in many ar­eas, so now is the time to start to pre­pare.’’

Another high pri­or­ity slip to be rec­ti­fied was in the car park at St Anne’s Hall in Browns Bay, where a re­tain­ing wall had been un­der­mined, Roberts said.

KEN­DALL HUTT

The slip on Lo­tus Walk in Browns Bay is one of the trick­i­est to rec­tify with heavy civil works and ab­seil­ing con­trac­tors re­quired.

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