Foreshore footpath suffers heat stress

REPAIRS to Warrnambool’s concrete promenade will continue indefinitely, but it will not be ripped up and replaced in its entirety.

The popular 4.2-kilometre path between the breakwater and Point Ritchie built in the early 1990s has design faults which mean sections buckle from summer heat and become dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

City infrastructure services manager Glenn Reddick told The Standard yesterday repair work would continue when needed to make sections safe.

“It’s a legacy from a past design which means we have ongoing maintenance,” he said.

“The concrete sits on sand and when that gets hot the path expands and lifts to a point where it becomes untraffickable.

“We have to close the section and wait till it subsides. 

“Our crews have used a range of repair techniques to stop further lifting, but it’s a harsh environment with heat and climate challenges. Footpaths built today have much higher standards to withstand stresses.”

Mr Reddick said to replace the total promenade with a better design would be cost-prohibitive.

“I don’t think ratepayers would approve huge expenditure on a new beach footpath,” he said.

The path is used by about 20,000 people a year.

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