Review of Stoneham Park

Date published: January 3, 2015 at 9:55 am | Comments

A decision about the future of a bridge along Kawerau’s Stoneham Walkway has led to a review to evaluate the condition of the whole park.

At a meeting on December 16, Kawerau District Council was presented with two options to remedy the structurally unsafe bridge.

Operations and services manager Tom McDowall said the estimated cost to replace the bridge was $23,000. He said funding would come from depreciation reserves and would have no impact on rates.

The council’s second option was to completely remove the bridge, which would reduced depreciation of $500 each year. The walk would continue to be well served by crossing options if the bridge was removed, with two other bridges nearby, one 150 metres upstream and another 200 metres downstream.

Councillor Chris Marjoribanks said the damaged bridge should be removed without being replaced because the remaining bridges provide suitable crossing options.

Mayor Malcolm Campbell disagreed.

He said things should not be taken away from the area and if a proper maintenance schedule was created and followed the council would not have needed to make the decision at all.

“That park is in pretty shabby condition, but we need to put it right now,” he said.

The council could go ahead and remove the bridge but it would be considering the future of another bridge soon, he said.

“We need to make sure it’s safe. There are a couple of bridges that are starting to get tatty and dangerous,” he said.

Mr McDowall said the bridge was closed to the public but Mr Campbell disagreed. When he visited the site the previous day people were continuing to use the crossing, which appeared undamaged.

Mr McDowall said the damage is structural.

Although the bridge might look fine to people walking across it, the steel support structure buried in the ground was rusting, he said.

Deputy mayor Alistair Holmes said the council should consider the state of the entire reserve before replacing or removing the bridge.

The council agreed.

The bridge would be made safe while a full review of the park was completed and brought to the council for consideration in 2015.

Source: Whakatane Beacon