Shifting sands have completely covered the new disabled access ramp to Lady Bay. MOTHER Nature has dumped tonnes of sand over an elaborate new foreshore disability access ramp which cost more than $100,000 to build.
Nanjing Night Net

The much-heralded wooden structure, completed late last year, has been unusable since last week’s strong winds and heavy seas left their mark.

It will take considerable effort by council staff to clear away the sand deposited over a large section of dune excavated for the ramp.

However, mayor Cr Jacinta Ermacora and city infrastructure manager Peter Robertson yesterday were not too worried and expected further disruptions until new vegetation around the ramp stabilised the dune.

They said shifting sands were a regular part of the foreshore.

“Movement of sand is to be expected while plantings around the structure are growing,” Cr Ermacora said.

“If you go further along to McGennan car park you can see how plantings have grown at our earlier foreshore works.

“The community has been very supportive of council increasing its foreshore infrastructure and access to the beach to reflect the city’s family-friendly image.”

Last October, council election candidate Peter Sycopoulis described excavation of the dune as hypocrisy and a waste of money.

His comments came after he and other community members had unsuccessfully tried for several years to have dense tea tree vegetation trimmed for better beach views and safety.

Mr Robertson said weather conditions were not a reason to stop improving the city’s assets.

“We expect there will be some inconveniences that are beyond our control and we will continue to manage them as they arise,” he said.

“Yes, there will be some additional work required to remove sand from the access ramp, but the small additional expense and work is considered worthwhile so that people with a disability can gain access to our beaches.

“The new ramp is no different to all other beach access points that council manages. Sometimes they will have sand on them, sometimes a very high tide and a strong swell will wash sand from underneath them.”

The access ramp and dune clearing was part of the $415,000 second-stage of a foreshore revamp including car park and footpath upgrades.

Council staff consulted with the Community Support Advisory Committee, Rural Access and disability groups which had been calling for improved access to the beach.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.