South Coast seawall upgrade

From October 2016 to the end of May 2017, we will upgrade and strengthen a seawall on the south coast between Island Bay and Owhiro Bay (opposite the Victoria University Marine Ecology Lab).

High seas during a major storm in June 2013 surged over the road, extensively damaging the footpath and causing road closures and traffic disruption.

The damage occurred when the sea breached the existing low seawall, which was approximately 1 metre below the footpath.

The footpath was repaired following the storm but damaged again in August 2014. Frequent storms and high swells caused further damage and disruption in April and May 2015.

Work under way

We're doing major work in this area to better protect the road and footpath. This includes:

  • strengthening the existing low seawall to comply with the current codes and standards -  this involves demolishing the top 400mm of the old wall, repairing the lower part and securely attaching it to the rock below with a series of long steel rods
  • installing about 40 new 1.2 metre-high  precast panels above the existing seawall to make it higher (from the road the wall will look about a metre high and similar to the Island Bay seawall)
  • laying a new concrete footpath double the width of the existing asphalt one
  • building two new sets of stairs so people can get down to the foreshore, rock pools and sea in this part of Taputeranga Marine Reserve
  • landscaping the 3 metre-wide strip between the footpath and the seawall to improve this section of coast.

RDL Group Ltd has been contracted to carry out the work.

What to expect

The work area is fenced off for safety reasons.

The 40 pre-cast concrete panels are being trucked to the coast a few at a time and installed. A crane is required to lift the heavy panels into position and traffic will be down to one lane at times when this happens.


  • Monday 3 October 2016 - the contractor set up on site
  • Monday 18 October - construction work started
  • From mid-January to mid-April - delivery and installation of pre-cast panels 
  • Mid-March - stair construction started
  • End of May 2017 - the work should be complete