Well it has been quite a year and despite Covid-19 the Trackies made good progress on a number of fronts. With over 50 active members on our work register Friday mornings continue to get a team of 12 – 15 on the ground. Individual projects, such as the Back Bay boardwalk and Domain path, have seen the need for a bit of flexibility on working times but your response was outstanding.
Back Bay boardwalk
Actual work on the site kicked off on June 4th and progressed steadily through to August 14 (our resource consent only allows construction between 1st April and 31st August and “never on Sunday”). Onsite construction was further limited by the tides. Three separate teams worked together like well-oiled machines. The prefabricators at the shed on Paul Rd. constructing 3m deck sections and cutting bearers and runners and delivering all to the site. The post driving team setting out the line and putting in the posts using a powered driver and assembling cross bearers while keeping consistent heights along the way. The construction crew transporting and installing prefabricated sections out onto the boardwalk, installing bearers and massaging the boardwalk bends, as well as removing mangroves from the site. At stop work just over 250m of the 530m boardwalk was complete ensuring it will be finished in the winter of 2021. All the timber to complete the project has been filleted for drying up at the shed and all the stainless steel fixings are on hand. A truly magnificent effort.
Lincoln Downs farm bush block
Our efforts to secure the bush block on the Council’s Lincoln Downs Farm finally bore fruit with agreement that it should be used for recreational purposes. A proposed development strategy submitted to Council identifies walking track and a mountain bike park as the primary objective and confined to their separate areas of the 120ha block. A small group has already been exploring the line for the first walking track but we await Council approval before breaking ground.
There are a number of issues to be worked through with Council including access across the farm, exclusion of stock from the bush, and the exact boundaries of the recreation zone. We hope to begin construction of walking tracks in the New Year and progress key issues in parallel with the commencement of work.
Work on the Tanekaha Tracks has focused on improving specific tricky sections such as just above the first waterfall, above the second waterfall, and sections of the Puriri Track. Attention has also been given to levelling track surfaces and widening where necessary. The Falls Track has been upgraded to the first waterfall, a walk taken by probably 90% of all visitors, in particular families with small children. Making this part of the track as accessible as possible has been a high priority.
A very successful project undertaken at the request of the Domain committee was to establish a gravel path linking the Anchorage subdivision with Moir St and following the eastern boundary of the Domain. The 330m track involved removal of turf 1.5m wide by 100mm deep, refilling with metal, compacting, and putting on fines and recompacting. Peter Colville did a great job of planning and gaffering the whole project and Trackies provided the labour. It was all done in 4 days and earned a $3,000 donation to the Trust for our labours. Happiness all round!
Lots of challenges ahead for 2021 with the top priority the completion of the Back Bay boardwalk with work in the shed recommencing in March. No doubt other opportunities will raise their head in the course of the year but for now you should focus on having a great Christmas and holiday period (although most of us are on permanent holiday!) and we will be back at work in February.
Best wishes and a big thank you from the Tracks Trust.