Many popular walking tracks within both Cashmere's Bowenvale Reserve and Sumner's Scarborough Reserve have reopened this week for the first time since the February 2011 earthquakes.
Christchurch City Council Transport and Greenspace Unit Manager Alan Beuzenberg says the reopening of the Bowenvale Reserve tracks is a significant milestone. "This is great news in that it's a big step towards re-establishing the network of tracks between Victoria Park and Rapaki Track, which has traditionally been a favourite among walkers and mountain bikers."
Scarborough Reserve has also reopened, although work on Department of Conservation tracks in Godley Head Reserve is still underway.
While residents are encouraged to make use of these areas, they are advised to be mindful of an increased risk of rockfall caused by earthquakes. Council park rangers have spent 17 months working with geotechnical specialists to identify and minimise these risks, with some areas of Bowenvale Reserve and Scarborough Reserve remaining closed.
"These areas are clearly identified with prominent signage, and we're asking people to observe the closures," Mr Beuzenberg says. "The Council has taken care to mitigate as many hazards as possible, but as with any outdoor activity, there is always an element of risk. Track-users are asked to use their common sense and be aware of their surroundings."
Any new earthquakes or extreme weather events could result in the tracks being closed again due to the risk of hazards.
The Council continues to work with geotechnical specialists to remediate hazards in other parks and tracks across the Port Hills. An update of what tracks are open or closed is available at www.ccc.govt.nz/parks.
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