Report favourable for park stairs repair
There is still hope for the popular ‘‘Stairs of Doom’’ according to a geotechnical report.
On November 10, the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board received a report on the Kennedy Park Stairs in Castor Bay.
The stairs have been closed to the public since April this year when they were severely damaged by a slip.
Following the damage, Auckland Council’s community facilities branch asked Riley’s Consultants to do a geotechnical inspection.
A memo to the local board said: ‘‘Riley’s Consultants concluded that the depth of the failure of the slip is relatively shallow, at less than one metre.’’
The consultants recommended a structural inspection and this was undertaken in August.
It found the stairs had been ‘‘severely damaged’’ but the foundations were in good condition. To replace the staircase would cost approximately $471,000.
The memo presented to the board noted the next steps would be to remove debris, ensure the site remains closed to the public, look into additional stabilisation and look at resource consent requirements.
The budget to repair the stairs would need to be included in the Devonport-Takapuna three-year renewal programmes as a high priority, it said.
If all this happened, the physical work on the stairs would not happen until the 2018/19 financial
‘‘People know they can't go down the beach to walk.’’
year during summer.
In a post on Facebook, the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board said it had received a report into the stairs but was waiting on a report into future slip risks and slope stabilisation requirements before approving repair works..
‘‘This report will better inform us of the real cost of reinstatement, as well as how safe it will be and how resistant the works will be to future storm events.’’
The board expected the report in the first few months of 2018.
Chairman Grant Gillon said the board was disappointed the rebuild would take so long.
‘‘It’s one of those structures that’s a little bit iconic and certainly well loved and it’s been missed by the community.’’
John Crews, the chairman of the World War II Preservation Society in the park, said the absence of stairs had roughly halved the number of park users.
‘‘People know they can’t go down the beach to walk.‘‘
The stairs were closed in April 2017 after Cyclone Debbie.