Weather forces delays to North Coogee maritime trail stairs

Weather forces delays to North Coogee maritime trail stairs

UNFAVOURABLE weather and tides have delayed completion of stairs at the City of Cockburn’s $300,000 maritime trail in North Coogee.

The City had aimed to have the stairs linking the grassed area down to the water over a rocky sea-wall in place by the end of March.

The main structure has been put in place but Cockburn’s environment manager Chris Beaton said weather and tides meant decking, stairs and handrails still needed to be fitted.

Completion is now expected at the end of May.

Mr Beaton said the delays were frustrating for all involved.

“The City has always been concerned about the safety of those accessing the dive trail by climbing over the sea-wall rather than walking along the beach,” he said.

“The stairs are important to ensure the public can safely access the dive trail.”

Mr Beaton said the fibre reinforced plastic stairs, once finished, should require little upkeep and were a world first.

“The structure will require minimal maintenance and be able to withstand the harsh marine environment and the erosion that occurs in this area,” he said.

“Because the stairs could not impact the integrity of the breakwater, there was a need to build them up and over, hence the large span.

“According to the manufacturer, this is a world first, being the first time that fibre reinforced plastic has been used to span such a large distance without additional supports.”

The maritime trail has proven popular among the general public and school groups since opening as part of the City’s Salty Fest event on February 26.

“Dive shops have also expressed an interest in being involved and developing the trail, hence the focus on safety for those using the trail,” Mr Beaton said.