Thursday, 22 July 2010

'Singing' sound tests hold up at stairway to heaven Rock Walk opening

A bit more news on Rock Walk from the local paper dated 22 July 2010
 
 
TESTS to ensure Torquay doesn't end up with a 'singing' Rock Walk, just as Shaldon had its 'singing' bridge, were behind delays to the project.

Weather permitting, it is hoped to have the striking new walkways and their decorative wire railings open by the second week in August and the lower path open from the end of this month.

However, the contractors have been unable to use the crane in very windy weather to lift into place the dozens of custom-designed and built concrete steps which will form Torbay's own 'stairway to heaven'. Two days were lost last week.

Lighting has already been reinstated on the pathway at the top of Rock Walk after reports of the area again being used by drug addicts.

Work is under way to put in the Mediterranean style planting which visitors should be able to enjoy on the lower path from the end of July.

Contractors are busy finishing off the contemporary stairways and will be installing decorative wire panels under the handrails on which extra tests have been carried out to make sure they don't create unwanted sound effects.

The steel wires are to be individually tensioned and will create a shell-like pattern as the 230 steps work their way up the cliff face. The steps are having LED lights, and bespoke coloured and decorated feature glass installed in each riser and the lights will be visible across the Bay at night.

With the first plants, some giant stone obelisks and a smooth stone edging to the borders have been put in place, the gardens have already taken on a contemporary modern Mediterranean feel.

The opened out lower pathway offers views across the top of the traffic to the seafront and Bay.

It is aimed to take down the existing road barriers by the end of July. Some work will have to be carried out to repair and mark the road surface ready for the creation of the new meter controlled parking spaces, install traffic calming and signs.

A temporary fence will be installed while the roadworks are carried out.

When reopened the parking will be for three hours maximum with plans to increase that to four hours.

Some 2,000 plants will be going in, and 60 cubic metres of cockleshell used as a mulch.

Electricity cables have been installed for the light to illuminate the cliffs and trees and some of the metal and wood benches are in place.

The shelter at the Torbay Hotel end has been refurbished and an art work will be installed.

New flower beds will be created at that end.

A spokesman for Torbay Council said that as the testing had been done by the company providing the feature, it had not cost any more money.

She also said the scheme had not been delayed.

However it was stated in May that it was hoped to have the pathways open to the public by the end of July though some work on the rock face might still have to be carried out.

 

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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.
Any news items I come across I will post as they appear in the local paper.

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