Friday, 20 March 2009

John Wilson Drive to remain closed to cars

Ocean drive to stay off-limits

ODT - By Chris Morris on Fri, 20 Mar 2009
Dunedin's popular John Wilson Ocean Dr will not reopen to motorists, despite the removal of construction material associated with the city's new 1.1km outfall pipe, council staff say.

Vehicle access to the road, which runs alongside St Kilda beach to Lawyers Head, has been restricted since construction of the $37 million outfall began in late 2006.

Since the commissioning of the completed pipe in January, contractors had been using a crane to dismantle the pier used during construction in a process known as "demobilisation", Dunedin City Council Tahuna upgrade project manager Brian Turner said.

Work to remove the pier, reinstate sand dunes and remove an access road down to the beach was expected to be completed by the end of next month, Mr Turner said.

However, DCC parks and reserves team leader Martin Thompson said the gate blocking vehicle access to Lawyers Head, would be retained, with some modifications.

Pedestrian access to the area would be reinstated, but vehicles would be prevented from driving to the lookout until a new long-term Ocean Beach management plan was completed, he said.

That followed a decision of the council's community development committee in July last year.

Asked how long the management plan would take, Mr Thompson said "it will be several years".

A recently completed study of wildlife in the area showed more activity - particularly in sea lions - since the disturbance from vehicles was reduced, he said.

And, speaking in January last year, Dunedin psychiatrist Dr Keren Skegg told councillors there had also been a dramatic reduction in the number of people committing suicide by jumping from the cliff since access to the area was cut off.

Below, clip from August 2006 when the road was first closed


Gilbert on 20 March, 2009 23:40 said...

Great stuff it would be beautiful if it was purely a walkway , it might let a few more people enjoy a part of our beautiful coast without the need to cling to their wheels and should the point at lawyers be surfable despite the poo pipe crowds would be lessened by the lazy not putting in the effort!
Bravo DCC maybe despite the stadium decision some intelligence remains!
God i hope so!

t2 said...

Yup - I agree, good idea

Anonymous said...

yes i too agree that vehicles should be restricted from this area as it has become denegrated by bogans and boy racers who have absolutely no association with the beach and whose only pleasure is to congregate so as to intimidate others including genuine beach users. a walkway is a brilliant idea. lets all get together during the submission stage to ensure this happens!


Anonymous said...

People are getting pretty sedimentary when they can't even be bothered to walk from the fence to the cliff to commit suicide!
Damn people get off your backsides you can easily get around the fence.


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