Re­port favourable for park stairs re­pair

North Shore Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ZIZI SPARKS

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.’’

John Crews

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.‘‘

JOHN CREWS

The stairs were closed in April 2017 af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie.

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