Saturday, 23 February 2008

From the Herald Express Friday 22 Feb 2008


11:00 - 23 February 2008

'WE will finish the job' is the pledge from council leaders over Torquay's Rock Walk facelift.

With most of the trees down and much of the scrub cleared and the crane work finished, the scale of the work to be done on the cliff face is all the more apparent.The extent of the work depends on a geological survey being carried out next week, said deputy mayor Kevin Carroll.

But he said that they would use a sum out of the £2.25million 'prudential borrowing' that had been agreed to tackle two or three major flagship projects in the coming year. The others could be the seafront illuminations and repairs to Princess Pier.

Mr Carroll said: "We have some money from planning agreements from the flats developments going on in Warren Road and there is no point in clearing the trees if we are not going on to finish the job.

"We know the rocks are moving and there are question marks over the rock ties used before. We won't know the extent of the work until next week's survey is completed.

"I don't know how soon we can get that work done. It may take longer than one season.

"But is our intention to use this prudential borrowing to sort out major projects.

"It would be futile to get all the work done so far without finishing off the job. We were hoping to get it done for the season, but we don't know if that is feasible. Perhaps we will do it next summer.

"It is all part of trying to turn the Bay around."

Initial geological surveys carried out this time last year revealed safety concerns over both the rocks and the state of the trees, some of which were over 100 years old and diseased.

The work on the cliff face may involve a scheme to replace and improve netting and bolts holding the cliffs up and making sure soil does not slip.

In 1997 Rock Walk suffered a landslide and Torquay Road had to be closed while repairs were carried out.

The gardens were closed to the public last December for safety reasons after high winds and heavy rain buffeted the cliff face.

The crane will leave Torquay today, but a date for reopening the road will not be known until after the geological survey.

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Notes about the blog. Updated 08 March 2008

Not much is happening at Rock Work now. All the work clearing the trees has been done. A barrier has been erected to prevent rock falls from reaching the road. Now we wait for the geological survey in May to see what can be done to fix the rocks in place.
After that when work starts again later in the year I will post more photos.
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