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Historic seawall preserved by road safety project

Published: 24 September 2018
Extending the seawall was part of a traffic safety improvement project at the intersection of Tamaki Drive and Ngapipi Road.

The transport safety project to improve the intersection between Tamaki Drive and Ngapipi Road also featured work to extend the seawall, providing space for additional vehicle lanes and allowing for future development.

“While road safety was the priority,  the project also provided an opportunity to address environmental issues, especially water runoff, and ensure the area’s coastal character was preserved,” says Ōrākei ward councillor Desley Simpson.

As well as improving road safety in the area the work also featured a unique heritage connection.

The existing seawall, built during the 1930s economic depression, was made with stone from a number of quarries then operating in Mt Wellington. Some stone also came from the demolition of the old Post Office at Shortland Street in central Auckland.

Preserving Tamaki Drive heritage
Stone for the existing sea wall came from quarries in the Mt Wellington area.

The stone used for the extension wasn’t ‘new’ either. It came from former excavations – most from the Transpower undergrounding project from Ōtāhuhu to Gavin St, Ellerslie – to keep it well matched with the existing wall.

Another nod to the seawall’s history was made when Auckland Stonemasons were contracted to design and deliver the job. It was their family business that originally delivered the seawall in the thirties.

“We’ve delivered a 21st-century upgrade at the intersection, but, importantly, have respected and reflected Tamaki Drive’s storied past,” adds Councillor Simpson.