Point Howard Wharf will remain closed to the public indefinitely after an inspection of its damaged piles found the work required to bring it up to a safe standard is more complex and expensive than first expected.
An inspection of the wharf by engineers in January found concerns with two piles and it was closed to the public until repair work could bring it up to a safe standard.
A subsequent underwater examination found adjacent piles are also in poor condition, taking the cost of remedial work to about $30,000. Point Howard Wharf is earmarked for removal in the next 12 to 18 months.
Hutt City Council Divisional Manager Parks and Gardens, Bruce Hodgins, says Council is acutely aware of the value local people place in having access to the wharf, but public safety is Council’s first concern.
“We also have to balance public enjoyment of the wharf against the cost to the ratepayer and in this case the cost is not insubstantial,” he says.
“There are a range of hazards on and around the wharf so we’re asking people to stay at least 10 metres away from the wharf and certainly not to swim or paddle kayaks under it.”
Lowry Bay Yacht Club officials will have limited and controlled access to the wharf to allow the club to continue using it to start competition races.
Plans to dismantle the wharf were put on hold late last year after engineering consultants raised the possibility that some of its piles may have penetrated the aquifer.
Further analysis is being done on the piles and, if required, engineering work will be undertaken to ensure the aquifer is unaffected by the wharf’s removal.