Replacing the beach access stairs at Army Bay was a complex task that took 10 weeks and included a team lowering prefabricated stairs down the cliff. It is the first of many coastal projects for the area. Photo, Brad Holm, Earth Stability.
The sight of contractors abseiling down the cliff at Army Bay recently, while a set of stairs was lowered carefully into position, was a dramatic example of what Auckland Council calls “coastal renewal works”.
Replacing damaged stairs at Army Bay and installing 300sqm of mesh as protection from future rock falls and landslips, cost $315,000 and was completed by specialists Earth Stability last week. Relocating lizards from the site and replanting was also included.
Project manager Brad Holm says adding to the complexities of a 20m plus, difficult-to-access cliff, was poor weather, including a storm that further damaged the old stairs. Obtaining construction materials was also a headache.
The structure was secured in place, with stronger stainless steel brackets at the base to combat wave action.
With the stairs safely installed, Council has turned its focus to other coastal areas, including Ōrewa Reserve, where it is beginning the process of looking at coastal management options (see story, this page).
Recently, it also approved a programme that includes more than $700,000-worth of local coastal renewal work, to take place over the next three years (see box below).
Hibiscus Coastal work, 2021-24: Fisherman’s Rock Reserve: renew seawall and boat ramp, $100,000 • Hammerhead Reserve: renew seawall, $100,000 • Matakatia Parade: renew seawall, $100,000 • Waiwera Beach: renew seawall, $100,000 • Hatfields Beach: renew seawall, $90,000 • Ōrewa: renew timber wharf, $90,000 • Wade River Road: renew timber wharf, $50,000 • Stanmore Bay: renew boat ramp, $40,000 • Island View Drive Reserve, Gulf Harbour: plant reserve vegetation, $40,000