Noisy nights of footpath-fixing work

Anti-greed protesters occupying Dunedin's Octagon might need to invest in some earplugs.

The Octagon is about to become a construction zone, with Dunedin City Council contractors set to begin night work to resurface footpaths in the area on Sunday.

Council contract engineer Chris Hasler said the paving repair work would be carried out each Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night, between 8pm and 8am, forthe next three weeks.

Contractors would be replacing paving stones on the western side of the central carriageway footpath, which ran through the Octagon just metres from the protesters' tents.

The work would continue up the footpath at the southern end, as far as the Robbie Burns statue, Mr Hasler said.

A powered cutting saw would be used intermittently throughout the hours of darkness to trim up the paving stones, which would be "a bit noisy", Mr Hasler said.

Asked if he had any advice for the protesters, Mr Hasler said: "Earplugs, maybe?"

"It won't be going all the time, I wouldn't say, but when it does go it's pretty noisy - it whistles a bit."

The work was part of a $90,000 project to resurface footpaths in the area, but was routine maintenance work that had been scheduled up to eight weeks ago, he said.

It was in no way an attempt by the council to remove the protesters, he said.

Instead, night work helped reduce disruption for the public, at a time of minimal foot traffic, and suited the cruise ship schedule, with only one vessel expected in Dunedin next week, he said.

Access to the upper Octagon encampment might be limited at times as work continued, but he did not expect the protesters to try to disrupt the work.

"We're quite happy to work around them ... It'll be a bit noisy, but unfortunately doing it at night is just the best option for us. We're tolerating them, so we'd expect the same."



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