Speed bumps delay turf project
Karori’s $1 million plans for an artificial turf are five months behind schedule after a series of setbacks including wind damage, pesticide contamination, resource consent challenges and geotechnical problems.
The old Terawhiti Bowling Club was to be transformed into a three-quarter size, all-weather training area for sports clubs by May, but now won’t be ready until mid-october.
The latest hitch involved blustery conditions blowing away unglued turf and peeling away a corner section of the rubber shock pad.
But that was just one of a number of issues Wellington City Council has had to navigate since the project began.
All such schemes had a few unknowns, but ‘‘this one seemed to have quite a few of them’’, council spokesman Richard Maclean said.
Two Karori residents challenged the resource consent application before work began, delaying the development.
‘‘This added significant time delays to the project, meaning we were constructing through winter. [We have] never [constructed in winter] before,’’ Maclean said.
‘‘The compromise through the hearing added some costs to the design, as well as reducing the training operating hours.’’
It was discovered the site was contaminated.
The cost of carting contaminated soil off the site, including landfill costs, were significant for every cubic metre removed, Maclean said.
‘‘We found the geotechnical information wasn’t as good as it could have been ... we had to import quite a bit of heavy rock material to strengthen the base and then build the base of the field on top of this.
‘‘This meant we didn’t need to remove more soil than designed, but it did increase civil works costs.’’
Another change to the original design removed the grass at the eastern side of the bowling club building, and added a leisure turf area.
Maclean said the advantage of this alteration outweighed the added costs.
‘‘We do have a significant overspend on the project, mainly due to decisions we have made on improvements, rather than design faults.
‘‘Overall the project has come in at about $1 million – which was a figure that we were expecting since it was first proposed.’’