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Consultants Appointed for St Clair Seawall

Consultants Appointed for St Clair Seawall

Dunedin, 16 August 2013 – Opus International Consultants Ltd, supported by DHI New Zealand, has been appointed to assist the Dunedin City Council with the next stages of the St Clair Seawall project.

Opus International Consultants Ltd is an internationally respected firm with a strong New Zealand base. The support consultant, DHI New Zealand, is internationally recognised for its applied ability in water modelling and assessment capability encompassing marine and harbour situations.

DCC General Manager Infrastructure and Networks Tony Avery says the consultants’ brief is to assess the current situation and provide recommendations for a process to protect the seawall and the beach amenity in the area in the long term.

One of the first steps will be to hold a public forum where people can present their views and ideas to the consultants. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, 28 August at 6.30pm at the Forbury Park Raceway Hall and will involve Councillors, DCC engineers and consultants, as well as the public. The meeting will be advertised closer to the time.

As part of the first stage of the work the consultants will also:
• Review the many reports available on the St Clair environment that have been prepared over the past 20-plus years, together with the many ideas submitted by residents.
• Hold a workshop with previous consultants to gather all relevant information related to the beach frontage and marine environment.
• Structurally evaluate the whole seawall, the promenade and the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club ramp.
• Provide a report on how issues have evolved over the years and highlight any gaps in the DCC’s understanding of the tidal processes along that stretch of ocean frontage. The report will also identify what information still needs to be collected.
• Provide alternatives to address the stability of the seawall in the longer term, while protecting beach amenity.

Mr Avery says the consultants are expected to report back to the DCC in early October. The cost for this scoping stage is estimated at $130,000, with further stages to be defined once the scoping is complete.

The structural integrity of the seawall was under threat following the undermining of the sand foundation and backfill over a 40m length of the seawall near the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club. The problem was identified when sinkholes appeared in the St Clair Esplanade paving in that area during extremely high tides in late May.

Public access from the Esplanade down to the beach was restored late last month. Stabilisation of the seawall was completed earlier in July. The DCC has spent about $500,000 on repairs. This reflects the significant amount of work carried out by contractors at the site, often late at night, and the use of specialist machinery and advice.

ENDS

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