Work is under way building a parking area beside the grassed berm at Sandy Bay.

A dedicated roadside parking area is being put in by Whangarei District Council contractors at the popular surf and swimming beach on the Tutukaka Coast.

Formerly, cars parked on the grass berm.

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Whangarei District Council is putting in a sealed parking area at Sandy Bay

The work, expected to be finished on December 20 in time for the summer rush, will make accessing the beach and passing traffic flow safer.

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The $148,000 job, by Hutton and Cameron Contractors, involves culvert extension, curbing, drainlaying and sealing a roadside parking bay.

A rock retaining wall at the parking bay will include steps to the grass sward and beach.

The contract includes replacing the soil and tidying the grassed area. It follows earlier remediation of dune areas and rediverting a stream to its original channel at the north end of the beach.

About 12 months earlier, storms driving waves and easterly winds up the beach caused erosion of the stream's southern, protective bank.

Sand dumped by waves and tide movement raised the level at the northern end of the beach, blocking the stream and causing it to empty into the middle of the beach.

Although the council has done most of the work to realign the stream and reinstate sand dunes, nature is expected to finish the job.

Anchored logs have been sited along the stream to provide a natural shield against waves, and root balls from large trees embedded in places to catch sand and encourage the dunes to re-build.

An undermined bank near the public toilets was restored last year using sand removed from the re-routed stream channel. Fences and planting will encourage the bank to reach its original height over time.