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St Clair ramp damaged again

2011: A close-up of the cracked concrete, taken yesterday.
2011: A close-up of the cracked concrete, taken yesterday.
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A damaged ramp at the Esplanade in St Clair will remain closed, as the Dunedin City Council attempts to discover who is responsible for a construction unable to stand the tests of time and tide.
The ramp has failed for the third time since the seawall was built in 2004, and council staff have acted to keep the public safe by closing access.
The damage follows rough seas that scoured sand from Tomahawk Beach and forced the council to shore up dunes at Middle Beach and disconnect electricity to lights at Kettle Park after sand hills were cut to within metres of the sportsground's light poles.
At St Clair, the concrete ramp was hit so hard concrete cracked and steel reinforcing rods were exposed.
Council project engineer Evan Matheson yesterday said he had been notified of the damage by a property owner at the beach.
There was a "long history" to the issue, and council community life general manager Graeme Hall was writing a report to the council.
That report would help decide "what we do next".
Mr Hall was on leave, but council community development committee chairman Cr Bill Acklin said the report would be coming to his committee.
The council was recently forced to accept its design requirements for guard rails on the Esplanade were not up to scratch after it spent $347,000 repairing corrosion.
The ramp was damaged twice in three months during storms late in 2004 and early in 2005, not long after the seawall was built. The stairs were also damaged at the time.
A report commissioned by the council after those incidents found the failures were caused by a combination of construction and design faults.
Design consultant Duffill Watts and King and construction company Naylor Love agreed to strengthen and repair the ramp and staircase at no cost to the council, and the facilities were replaced in 2007.
Cr Acklin yesterday said he understood there were "issues in relation to who is responsible", which Mr Hall's report would consider.
The issue was not listed in the agenda for the next committee meeting on October 19, so he expected it to go before the November 30 meeting.