Construction is set to kick off on the last of four projects to transform the Whaaingaroa (Raglan) wharf, with a new walkway, tidal stairs and other features soon to start taking shape.
The project, which is being delivered by Waikato District Council, includes a kayak ramp and stairs, seating areas, cultural artwork and planting, and a boardwalk that will be constructed on the western side of the wharf connecting Willis Street to the wharf.
Contractors will have spades in the ground mid August and will start by building up a new rock seawall to form the base of the new walkway.
Council Project Manager Niall McGrath says it’s great to be keeping up momentum following the construction of a new pontoon and eastern walkway, which were opened to the community in mid-June this year.
“It’s exciting to be making a start on what will be the largest of the four projects we’ve undertaken so far.
“Having secured money through the Government’s Better Off Funding, we’ve been able to deliver this part of the project sooner than expected, however, we have had to make some changes to the original design in order to keep within the allocated budget.”
One of changes to the original design includes shortening the length of the walkway and installing retractable bollards to restrict vehicle access on certain parts of the wharf to businesses only. It also includes a kayak ramp instead of a second set of tidal stairs.
Council spokesperson Megan May says Council can’t wait to share this final project with the community.
“It’s fantastic seeing these projects that we sought feedback on back in 2021 finally coming to fruition. This is the final piece in the puzzle to better connect the wharf with the surrounding area, and improve access to the sea.”
A number of the key elements, including the tidal stairs, will be constructed off-site and then delivered by truck and lifted into place with a crane.
Construction is expected to take around six months to complete, finishing in late 2023 – early 2024.
“We’re working hard to deliver a bulk of the project by Christmas, either way – prepare to dust off your kayaks and paddle boards, because it will be ready and open to the public this summer.”
Raglan Community Board chair Dennis Amoore says this is the perfect project to have ready for rollout during the warmer months.
“We’re really pleased with the timing. It’ll be great to get construction done during winter and spring, ready for handover to the Raglan community as a new summertime hub.”