A revitalisation of South New Brighton Park will draw people back to the area this summer, more than six years after it suffered damage in the 2011 earthquakes.
A renewed car park area for up to 26 vehicles, picnic tables, a rebuilt boardwalk and upgraded paths capable of taking baby strollers are all in the mix for the upgrade, which will be complete in time for summer visitors in December.
Work has already begun on a $400,000 project to rebuild the South New Brighton jetty, and now the neighbouring park areas are in for an overhaul.
The current wooden jetty, boardwalk and car park area was damaged in the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and the boardwalk sustained further damage in a severe storm during 2013.
Since then, the area surrounding the jetty has become rundown with the carpark becoming a storage area for landscaping mulch and contractor's equipment.
Christchurch City Council Project Manager Michael Sheffield said the upgrade would reinstate a loop walk taking in the Pleasant Point Yacht Club and nearby wetlands.
“We are halfway through the jetty project now, and recycling about 50 percent of materials that we’re getting off the jetty. The second stage is beginning soon which will be the car park renewal. We will also include restoration of the estuary bank around the carpark and jetty. It had slumped away after the earthquake,” Mr Sheffield said.
It is hoped that some of the old jetty piles can be used to provide posts around the renewed car park.
Another major project for the area is the repair of the 120 metres of wooden boardwalk which had been damaged in the earthquake and 2013 storm. The existing piles would be repaired and leveled and made stronger. Shore protection would also be put in place with 140 metres of shore protection rocks staggered to protect the boardwalk from estuary wave action, but also allow water flow to maintain the wetlands.
Council Coastal and Plains Head Ranger Kelly Hansen said the work would allow the public back in to enjoy a unique estuary environment which had been a wonderful community asset over the years.
"Three South New Brighton reserves were significantly impacted by the Canterbury earthquakes. Trees, buildings, walking tracks, and car parks throughout South New Brighton Park, Bridge Reserve and Blighs Garden were damaged. A new management plan and development plan, prepared in consultation with the community was approved in 2014 to guide the recovery and ongoing management of the reserves.
"Repair of the South New Brighton jetty, car park and boardwalk are the latest activity in the long road to recovery and will reinstate valuable recreation opportunities for the local community. We're looking forward to welcoming the public back to these fantastic recreation areas."