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Work complete to remove surf reef

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:00 a.m.

Work to remove the Mount surf reef is almost complete, despite high seas hampering some of the work.

Removal started in late September, and contractors have now completed the work cutting open the large bags on the seabed and releasing the sand inside. All of the large bags, weighing several tonnes, have now been removed by barge, even though work had to be suspended several times due to high seas.

The site will be left for several weeks for the sand to be washed out by tides and a video survey will be done in about a month to see if partial removal of the sand bags has worked in making the area safer for swimmers and other water users.

Regional Council Deputy Chief Executive Eddie Grogan said the Council had decided to partially remove the reef near Tay Street beach earlier this year once its resource consent expired. The reef had attracted public criticism, with surfers saying it did not provide the intended surf breaks, and surf lifesaving organisations concerned it was creating dangerous rips for swimmers.

The $1.5 million reef, built from 2005 to 2008 with donations from the public and community funding groups, had never functioned as intended.

“The reef created a large scour hole affecting waves and currents, increasing the frequency and intensity of rips, which posed a serious risk to swimmers in the popular Tay Street beach area,” Mr Grogan said.

The site will be surveyed annually to ensure that natural processes have resumed.

Surf Reef