Dunedin City Council (DCC) is constructing a new stairway to allow safer access for surfers to St Clair beach, following requests from the community.
DCC Transport Group Manager, Jeanine Benson says Council has had discussions with various groups, including St Clair Action Group, the St Clair Surf Club, Long Dog Café and Aukaha, who have had input into the beach access design.
“Surfers at St Clair often access the water via the existing stairs from the Esplanade and this can be a dangerous area during large swells and high tide,” said Ms Benson.
“These groups have given us valuable information so that we’ve been able to design a safe route for experienced surfers that is located alongside the Long Dog Café. This is to provide access in a safer, sheltered area of the sea, ideal for experienced surfers.
“Safety has been paramount in designing a stairway that meets the needs of our surfing fraternity but also keeps the public safe, particularly young children. For that reason, we will install a new safety gate that has a mechanism designed to prevent young children from being able to gain entry.”
The concrete stairs have been constructed off-site to minimise disruption for beachgoers.
The work is expected to start on Monday (30 May) and be completed by the end of June at a cost of $230,000. Council says the existing mobility parking will be temporarily relocated while the work is being done.
The access stairs are an action under the St Clair-St Kilda Coastal Plan, adopted by the Council earlier this year. Other upcoming work under the Coastal Plan includes a coastal monitoring programme to help inform management options, which is due to begin in September; and investigation and planning work related to the old Kettle Park landfill, also due to begin in September.