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Ask Phoebe: Sewer pipe remains an eyesore

By Phoebe Falconer

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The Transport Agency says that it's a matter of traveller safety as too many signs increase the risk of distracting drivers. Photo / Thinkstock
The Transport Agency says that it's a matter of traveller safety as too many signs increase the risk of distracting drivers. Photo / Thinkstock

Whakatakataka Bay lies at the end of Ngapipi Rd, just before the well-known green boatsheds. There is a small grassed area and a drive which gave access to the old Hobson Bay sewer pipe. The sewer has been removed, opening up a potential calm tidal area for kayaks and paddle boards, and a small length of sewer left. Council had planned to develop this area, but it remains fenced off, the residual pipe is painted white and is an eyesore. Are there any plans to improve and allow public use of this area? Douglas Scott, Orakei.

Brent Evans, principal adviser to local boards for Watercare Services, says the grassed area on Ngapipi Rd is owned by Watercare.

The land used to include an old grit trap associated with the 100-year-old wastewater pipeline across Hobson Bay. It was also used in the demolition of the old pipe which opened the bay to improved recreational activities. The pipe was replaced by the Hobson Bay wastewater storage tunnel which was completed in 2010.

The remaining section is a short sealed remnant of the old pipe kept after agreement with Auckland City Council as a historical record. It also helps to retain part of the foreshore.

Although barrier arms restrict vehicle access, pedestrians can access the open space, foreshore and water.

Watercare has no plans to develop or dispose of the site and will talk to Auckland Council and the Orakei Local Board about more options.

It will also talk to Auckland Council about the white paint which appears to have been used to paint out graffiti on the remaining piece of pipe. A neutral green or grey might be better.

I recently had to drive from Auckland on the new Northwestern Motorway extension past Westgate, on my way to Herald Island. This was my first trip to Herald Island, so I was unfamiliar with the area. There are signs for an off-ramp for Brigham's Creek Rd, but nothing to indicate that this is the off-ramp to use to get to Herald Island. I had to drive to the next off-ramp, consult Google Maps, get back on to the motorway, go back to Westgate, and repeat my journey to then take the Brigham's Creek off-ramp, and thence find signs to Herald Island. I made the journey from the other direction yesterday, from the North Shore back into Auckland, and noticed there is nothing when coming from this direction either. Could whoever is responsible for motorway signs add Herald Island on to the relevant signs, please? Liz Thrush, Auckland.

The Transport Agency says that basically, it's a matter of traveller safety. Too many signs increase the risk of distracting drivers, particularly at an interchange like the one at Brigham Creek Rd where there is a network of three roundabouts for people to negotiate. It says priority is given to key regional destinations.

- NZ Herald

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