Work to repair and reopen the Kennedy Park staircase at North Shore's Castor Bay is set to start in early March.
The popular staircase with large viewing platform, connecting J.F. Kennedy Park with Castor Bay’s beach, has been closed to the public since April 2017 when an extreme weather event left the structure severely damaged and closed to the public.
In addition to repairing the 120 step staircase, work will also include the installation of several geotechnical stability systems to help improve cliff face stability. These systems include:
- rock nailing and mesh screens to capture debris
- more planting to help with cliff stability
- erosion control under the structure to reduce coastal erosion.
New safety features will also be installed into the adjacent World War 2 searchlight bunkers. This will include the installation of steel grates and plates to prevent people from entering the old defence structures built into the surrounding cliff face.
Signage warning people of the danger of climbing into or onto these ageing structures was installed last year.
Local Board Chair George Wood says he’s glad the end is in sight for locals who have been waiting patiently for staircase access to the beach to reopen.
“It’s not always obvious why things take as long as they do, but in this instance there was considerable geotechnical work that needed to be undertaken, not to just establish the extent of damage to the staircase and their foundations, but across the whole area to work out how to best improve stability and safety,” says Wood.
“We’re all looking forward to seeing the stairs reopened and access to the beach from Kennedy Park reinstated as soon as possible.”
The work is being funded from Auckland Council’s region-wide coastal renewals budget and is expected to be completed in June.