Erosion measures delayed

A desire to get the latest St Clair erosion protection measures done right first time has led to their installation being delayed.

Winter storms last year battered St Clair and Middle Beaches, destroying stairs and ramps at St Clair and swallowing significant chunks of the sand dunes along the coast as far as Middle Beach.

Plans were put in place last year by the Dunedin City Council to install short-term protection measures, centred on the replacement of the area's sand sausages.

While those measures were initially planned to be complete by the end of summer, that timeframe had now moved to the middle of June, council parks, recreation and aquatics group manager Richard Saunders said.

The council had chosen to have the erosion measures peer-reviewed before committing to them, Mr Saunders said yesterday. While that peer review had cost time, it had also given an assurance the proposed measures were the right response.

Mr Saunders said the beach's original sand sausages would be ‘‘reinstated'' where needed, while Middle Beach's reno mattresses - mesh baskets filled with rocks - would be either reinstated or replaced with sand sausages.

Detailed design of the new sand sausages was expected to be completed by the end of next month, and construction to be complete by mid June.

Discussions were also under way with Port Otago about transporting sand from Otago Harbour dredging to Middle Beach, he said.

Some of the sand transported to the site last year had now been used ‘‘in small remedial areas'' along the beach, he said.

Longer term measures to improve the beach's erosion resistance would be investigated later this year, Mr Saunders said.

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