THE $3.4 million regional playground in Bibra Lake will be closed throughout May for repairs and upgrades, despite only opening in November.
New shade sails will be installed while repairs to Hobbit Hill and the talking rocks are also on the cards, costing the City of Cockburn about $160,000.
Cockburn’s engineering and works director Charles Sullivan said the repairs were a must.
“The original turf covering at Hobbit Hill has experienced greater than anticipated foot traffic (and) as a result the area is now in very poor condition and unsafe to walk on,” he said.
Mr Sullivan said the turf would be replaced with a mix of “hardscape elements” including feature stone work and artificial turf.
He said alterations to the talking rocks were needed because they were being climbed on.
“This was never the intent as fall zones exceeded the relevant standards and this posed a significant risk.” Mr Sullivan said.
“The decision was made to increase the height of the soft-fall mulch underneath the talking rocks to compliant levels, thus decreasing the fall zone.
“This coupled with restricting access to climbing the rocks will mitigate any future safety concerns.”
Mr Sullivan said new shade sails would provide extra cover for the play equipment and was considered after feedback from park users.
He said May was selected for the upgrades because Easter and school holidays had finished and the weather was still in the City’s favour.
“It is essential to close the playground to maintain a safe workplace and for the safety of the public while undertaking a number of high risk construction and maintenance works,” he said.
New bike racks and a bin storage area have already been completed.
The park will be re-opened on June 1.