Locals hoping slip stabilises

A major slip-up  . . . Wanaka lakeside residents woke  yesterday to find there had been a slow...
A major slip-up . . . Wanaka lakeside residents woke yesterday to find there had been a slow-moving slip on the Marina Terrace Apartments construction site during the night. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
Wanaka residents living near a landslip from a construction site that blocked one of the town’s main thoroughfares are hoping the area  stabilises and poses no risk to their properties.

Queenstown Lakes District Council principal monitoring and enforcement officer Anthony Hall said council staff spent  yesterday at the Lakeside Rd Marina Terrace Apartments construction site with the developer, Multiplied Investment Partners, and geotechnical experts hired by the company.

Multiplied Investment Partners spokesman Matt Tuck confirmed the landslip occurred because the site  became destabilised as a result of removing vegetation and waterlogged soil.

‘‘As part of our site investigation prior to commencing works, our consultants and contractors drilled and profiled over 100 locations across the site,’’ he said.

‘‘The top 1200-1500mm has been of concern, and while the site held up well in the significant rainfall earlier in the week, some localised works has caused an area of the site to weaken and slip.’’

The alarm was raised on Thursday night by a passing motorist who contacted the company when he saw water on the road coming from the construction site.

About 9pm mud started ‘‘creeping’’ about a metre an hour across the road,  stopping just short of  Lake Wanaka  about 3am.

Mr Tuck said  crews worked through Thursday night, ‘‘de-watering’’ the site  and stabilising the slip.

Mr Hall said the developers were waiting for instructions from Geosolve  about when the  slip was safe to be removed and Lakeside Rd  could be reopened. Diversions are in place.

The lakeside pedestrian walkway had  also been  closed as a precaution.Marina Terrace  Apartments  project manager Jason Buehler said drones had been flying over the site during the morning and the company was  awaiting  the results of the survey.

He said the site was full of underground springs but they  could be effectively managed with a de-watering programme.

Queenstown Lakes deputy mayor Calum MacLeod visited the  site several times during the day. ‘‘This was always going to be a challenging development on a challenging site but I hope that this is just a minor blip.’’

Otago regional councillor Ella Lawton said her main concern was ‘‘if this could happen once, could another landslip happen again?’’.

She questioned the long-term stability of the land and risk of the development withstanding an earthquake or a similar major event. Neighbour Scott Anderson has lived at 61 Lakeside Rd for the past year and watched the development site being cleared of tea trees and flax.

‘‘It used to be a tea tree swamp with flax before they whipped everything off and turned it into a quagmire. There’s water all through the site, springs everywhere. You only have to walk six feet out there and you sink down to your knees.’’

Mr Hall said along with council contractors, Downer and Veolia, the QLDC  was in regular communication with the developers to monitor the clean-up operation and to ensure there  was no detrimental effect to the lake, immediate environment and council services.

He said representatives from the Otago Regional Council  had  advised there was no adverse effect from the slip on the lake, and QLDC chief engineer Ulrich Glasner also confirmed that council water infrastructure was unaffected.

Lakeside Rd in Wanaka remains closed today as engineers and contractors work to stabilise the site where a large landslip came down from blocking the road.
As of yet there is not time line for the removal of the slip and the reopening of the road to both vehicles and pedestrians. 

kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

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