SH88 project progress on the table

Reclamation work has significantly altered the appearance of the harbourside at Mussel Bay near...
Reclamation work has significantly altered the appearance of the harbourside at Mussel Bay near Port Chalmers. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A huge map of West Harbour was stretched along the length of the meeting table as West Harbour Community Board members were briefed on progress in the SH88 safety improvements project.

NZ Transport Agency senior project manager Jason Forbes and representatives of contractor Downer Group attended last week’s board meeting with an update, which was positively received by board members.

Mr Forbes said work was moving along at pace at several different sites along SH88. The most visible change was the final 5km section of the shared path from St Leonards to Port Chalmers, which was starting to take shape.

Extensive reclamation was being done at Sawyers Bay and Mussel Bay, where the railway would be realigned to accommodate the shared path extension.

The H-piles, which would carry the shared path through the Roseneath cutting, had been installed and the first pre-cast panels should arrive on site for installation before the end of the year, Mr Forbes told the board.

In response to questions from board members, Mr Forbes said there was some confusion among the community about the reclamation, which was not for the shared path but the realigned railway.

"So at no point from St Leonards to Port Chalmers will the path cross the railway line, until it reached Wickliffe Tce," he said.

"The path will go along between the road and the railway."

A 610m boardwalk around Blanket Bay would be a spectacular feature of the path, and would showcase the original seawall.

In response to questions, Mr Forbes confirmed there would be a break in the safety barrier at Blanket Bay, which would allow pedestrian access to the shared path.

Board members expressed their delight with the progress on the "marvellous" project and thanked Mr Forbes and his team for its hard work.

During the public forum, West Harbour Community Board members were entertained and impressed by a presentation from 7-year-old Harrison Miller, who had a complaint to lay before the board about the "upgraded" seesaw at Roseneath Park.

The board also heard from local yachtsman Graeme Wall, who raised concerns about siltage at Back Beach, saying Port Otago had said in 1990 that it would mitigate such issues.

A supplementary agenda, received by board members the day before the meeting, was the subject of discussion and some dispute, board member Duncan Eddy expressing his dissatisfaction late-arriving matters should be discussed.

After some discussion and and the checking of standing orders, the board proceeded with two items on the supplementary agenda — invoices for two board projects.

These were a quote for $2186 plus GST from Digiart & Design for the design, printing, and distribution of 3500 "West Harbour Know Your Neighbours" information flyers, and a quote from UpFront environmental for $600 to tidy and maintain the bank above Albertson Ave.

The board voted to accept both quotes, Mr Eddy voting against.

Echoing discussion at the recent Saddle Hill Community Board meeting, board members expressed concern about overgrowth of vegetation around the West Harbour area, saying residents were growing frustrated.

Cr Steve Walker said there had been no change in policy at the council, but that there had been an increase in calls about vegetation recently, due to a recent change in contractor.

He believed the contractor was in the process of employing more people to fulfil the contract successfully.

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