The Dunedin City Council will begin building a temporary
rescue boat launching ramp at the north end of the St Clair
Beach sea wall next week, after this week dumping another 1000
tonnes of rock along the wall.
The ramp is to run from the north end of the Esplanade down
to the beach, and will be used by the St Clair Surf
Lifesaving Club to get its inflatable rescue boats to the
The club lost its original concrete ramp after the sea wall
near the ramp was undermined and the fill behind the wall
sucked out to sea earlier this year.
Council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring said the
new ramp would be constructed from a rock base with a sloping
reno mattress on top.
Reno mattresses are relatively flat gabion type structures,
filled with rock, often used for river bank and embankment
The structure would be temporary, with a view to becoming
permanent if it worked well, he said.
A consent application was lodged, but the ramp would be built
at the same time as the application progressed, as it needed
to be in place for the start of beach patrols at the end of
The cost of fixing and protecting the wall continues to mount
as other work goes on.
During the past week 1000 tonnes of solid rock from Palmers'
Quarry, each stone weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, have been
placed along the base of the wall as protection from the sea.
It added to the 2000 tonnes of rock put in to protect the toe
of the wall at the north end earlier this year, after
sinkholes opened up in the Esplanade.
Mr Standring said the first rock placement was included in
the already documented $500,000 cost of immediately fixing
The rocks placed this week cost about $60,000.
Consultants hired by the council to look into the problem
plan to report to the council next week, and may be required
to do more work.
Mr Standring said the council was keen to take any
opportunity it could to do the protective work.
There had been rocks in front of the wall, but over time they
had become smaller, due to wave action, to the point where
they were small enough for the sea to pick them up and slam
them into the wall, potentially damaging it.
The bigger rocks were placed over the top of the small ones
to stop that happening.