Delay for damaged Stoneham bridge | News | Kawerau

Delay for damaged Stoneham bridge

18 March 2015

Tom McDowall,
Kawerau council operations and services manager

A DECISION to repair or remove a damaged bridge along Kawerau’s Stoneham Walk has been delayed for another month.

Kawerau District Council deferred the decision at a regulatory and services committee meeting yesterday and asked for further information on the park’s condition.

The council originally asked for a maintenance report on the park in December last year when it was first presented with a decision to repair or remove a pedestrian bridge.

However councillors were unsatisfied with the report provided yesterday and requested a more detailed report for the next committee meeting in a month’s time.

They also requested verbal feedback on maintenance completed during March and April.

Councillor Christopher Marjoribanks spoke against replacing the fourth damaged pedestrian bridge at a cost of $23,000, preferring instead to remove it for $3000.

He said there would still be three other bridges providing good access around the park and the $20,000 to replace the structure would be better spent in the park.

However, councillor Warwick Godfery said the natural creek that ran through the park was a feature that should be maximised.

Many councillors expressed concern about past maintenance of the park and development of the area with future maintenance in mind.

Mayor Malcolm Campbell said a new retaining wall constructed along the Stoneham Walk at the end of last year looked good but there were still holes in the footpaths around the park.

“The ball has been dropped here and we need to pick it up,” he said.

Mr Campbell said the council had a duty to the park’s founders and its ratepayers to maintain the area and it needed to look for something more than a quick fix.

Councillor Alistair Holmes said the councillors were all just amateur gardeners and they needed professional advice for the park’s landscape.

Kawerau District Council operations and services manager Tom McDowall cited five types of assets in the park.

These areas included sealed walkways, retaining walls, trees, pedestrian bridges and a stone bridge.

Half the 900 metres of sealed walkways in the park were replaced last year when a retaining wall below Fenton Mill Road was replaced, but the remaining 450 metres still required resealing, he said. This work was planned for the 2015-16 financial year along with the remaining retaining walls along the walkway, but both these tasks could be accelerated.

A number of councillors also mentioned the large, fast growing trees in the park, which could become an issue for removal soon.

Mr McDowall said the council had already planned an increase to the level of resources for its parks and reserves division and this would catch up on some of the outstanding tree work.