Quake-hit Port Hills tracks reopen

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 02/01/2013
Pilgrims Way track
Stacy Squires

REBUILT: Pilgrims Way track from Taylors Mistake, closed after the earthquakes, has been rebuilt.

Pilgrims Way track
Stacy Squires
PILGRIMS WAY: Cushla Shearer, grandson Nick, and friend Denise Templeton enjoy the views overlooking Taylors Mistake.

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Walkers have welcomed the reopening of several popular Christchurch tracks, with more expected to be cleared of earthquake hazards this year.

Many Port Hills tracks were closed after the February 22,2011, quake, mainly because of rockfall risk.

Quake victims Ian Foldesi and Owen Wright were killed by falling rocks that afternoon while on walking tracks near Lyttelton.

Christchurch City Council contractors have moved dangerous rocks to ensure tracks could open this summer, and more are expected to reopen this year.

Pilgrims Way (the Taylors Mistake walkway to Godley Head) and the Major Hornbrook Track are scheduled to open next month.

Walker Cushla Shearer said yesterday that it was great the tracks were starting to reopen because the community enjoyed them.

Friend and fellow walker Denise Templeton, who used to live in Christchurch but now lives in Central Otago, said Pilgrims Way was a fantastic track.

The tracks were well used and it was vital their reopening was made a "top priority".

The Port Hills fan planned to spend part of her Christchurch holiday walking various tracks, including a visit to the Sign of the Takahe today.

Council acting unit manager for transport and greenspace Sally Davis said the council was repairing tracks with minor damage first.

Once this work was completed, the focus would shift to other tracks, including the link between Rapaki Rock and Mt Cavendish, one of the only sections of the Crater Rim walkway still closed.

That section of the track required significant remedial work before it could be reopened to the public, Davis said.

The council was investigating the extent of remediation required for the Bridle Path.

Work was under way on the Urumau Reserve, the Eastenders Track and the top section of the Captain Thomas Track in Greenwood Park and the Scarborough Bluffs Track, she said.

Walkers were being urged to obey closure signs, but The Press saw several walkers on fenced-off tracks yesterday.

Templeton said several people climbed over the fence as there was no obvious hazard. However, the council advised people the dangers were not always immediately obvious.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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