Porirua’s 19-year-old canopies to be removed – warning of wind danger

News from Porirua City Council
The future of the canopies in Porirua City has been considered by the Council’s Te Komiti who recommend that they be removed in the next few months.

Te Komiti and City Centre Committee Chairperson Euon Murrell says a recent engineer’s report and core sampling tests carried out by the manufacturer of the canopies showed that they are unlikely to stand up to high wind conditions for much longer.

“So for safety reasons, we agree that the canopies should come down as soon as possible although the final decision has yet to be signed off by full Council.”

The canopies were installed in 1995 and have been in service for almost 19 years over which time they have performed to expectations. The canopy fabric had a guaranteed life of 10 years with an expected life of approximately 20 years.

“They have greatly exceeded their guaranteed life and are nearing the end of their practical life so it’s not surprising that the fabric is now showing serious signs of wear and tear.”

While the canopies will be dismantled, the structure of the columns and cables will remain. How and when this work will be carried out, and any remedial work required once they are down (for instance the lighting will need to be changed) will be outlined in a later report to the Council.

“The Council will work with businesses in the area to minimise disruption although some inconvenience is inevitable with a project of this size and in a busy location,” Cr Murrell says.

The Council has budgeted $200,000 this year to look at designs for any future replacement of the canopies.

“There are better fabric options available today so any replacement canopies will have much higher light level penetration. However, any final decision to replace the canopies is unlikely to be made until after the design work is completed over the next few months.”

The cost for replacement, if that is agreed upon, will need to be included in the draft Long Term Plan in April 2015. That draft plan will be publically consulted on and the Council will consider all submissions received before coming to a decision on canopy replacement.

 

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