Plans for sea walls with road widening

Sections of historic sea wall supporting the road skirting the harbour edge of Otago Peninsula may be protected and left visible during the planned widening of the road.

The Dunedin City Council plans to widen the remaining unwidened sections of Portobello Rd and Harington Point Rd between Vauxhall and Taiaroa Head over the next 10 years to incorporate pedestrian and cycling facilities.

Work on the first of seven remaining sections, at Harington Point, is expected to begin in the 2013-14 year.

The project involves widening the road, by reclaiming land from the harbour, up to 8m in places.

Along most of the widened road's edge a new sea wall will be constructed using hand-placed rock in accordance with heritage protocols.

But the council is still in talks with the Historic Places Trust over several sections of the original seawall the trust wants untouched and left visible.

DCC projects engineer Evan Matheson said the trust originally wanted three 100m sections of the original sea wall, at Otakou, Challis Point and Portobello, conserved as they were.

Discussions between the two were ongoing.

On previous projects, original sea walls had been conserved in situ, but ''entombed'' in the widened road, but the trust this time wanted conserved sections that would be representative of the longer wall to remain visible.

The council was working out exactly how to achieve that, while also widening the road, Mr Matheson said.

He hoped other concerns about the reclamation required for the project, raised mainly by the Portobello community after consultation on the council's plans, had been addressed in the latest iteration of the plans.

The altered plans would be shown to the community at a public meeting on Monday night.

The council would look at any further issues, but intended to apply to the Otago Regional Council next month for consent for the reclamation work.

People would have another opportunity to submit on the plans through the consent process.

The finer details of the road, such as the design, the width of lanes and landscaping, would be consulted on publicly after the consent for land reclamation was processed, Mr Matheson said.

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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