Island Bay seawall upgrade gets under way

13 November 2015

Work to repair, upgrade and strengthen Island Bay’s seawall will begin next week.

Contractors Fulton Hogan will have workers on site setting up from next Wednesday 18 November. They plan to complete the job by mid-June next year.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the upgrade work will address structural issues and make the seawall more resilient to storms in the short to medium-term.

“Sea-level rise, and bigger, more frequent storms due to climate change are a reality we recognise.  Repairing the wall is part of a larger programme of work to increase resilience on the south coast,” she says.

Areas of the 340-metre seawall were significantly damaged during storms in 2013 and again this year.

 A 41-metre section opposite Shorland Park collapsed completely, and much of the upper part of the seawall that remains is on a lean and needs to be realigned and secured.  

About 290 steel rods will be used to secure the top section of the wall to the base. This will enable it to withstand major storms like the ones that hit in 2013.

A new concrete beam will be installed below ground on the footpath side of the seawall to make it stronger and safer. Steps to the beach will also be repaired, where needed, and the concrete piers on either side secured.

Work will be done in sections to minimise the impact on the beach and beach goers. This will mean most of the beach will remain accessible, as only a small section will need to be cordoned off at any one time.

Councillor Iona Pannett, Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee and Buildings Portfolio Leader, says the Council recognises that many residents and visitors treasure the wall as a heritage item.

“The wall was built in about 1930, and damaged sections stored at Shorland Park will be repaired and reused to help preserve the heritage character,” she says.

 “The rocks that have provided temporary protection will be removed and reused in other coastal areas where erosion has occurred. We’ll also leave the beach in good shape and replant the area adjacent to the Marine Education Building.”

The reconstruction and strengthening will involve trucks, a digger, crane and drilling machinery. Footpath detours will be in place, and people using the area should take extra care and avoid the construction areas.  

Work hours will be 7.30am–5pm, Monday to Saturday.  

The construction site will be made safe for the Island Bay Festival’s Day in the Bay event on Sunday 14 February so the beachfront festivities can go ahead as usual.