Cracks appearing on Queenstown's new Lakeview footpath

by Kim Bowden - May 13, 2024

A newly laid footpath outside the planned $2 billion Lakeview precinct is cracking.

Kā Huanui a Tāhuna, the alliance responsible for the work, has not yet responded to Crux questions - delivered more than one week ago - on the apparent defects on Thompson Street in central Queenstown.

Sources spoken to by Crux suggest the cracks could be the result of insufficient ground preparation, particularly if they are above underground services.

If that is the case, it is their view the cracks could worsen over time, with heavy rain events further exacerbating the issue.

The cracks could also be an indication of an ill-prepared concrete mix, or expansion cracks not cut sufficiently deep, they say.

Kā Huanui a Tāhuna is comprised of the council and New Zealand Transport Agency as well as businesses Downer, Fulton Hogan, WSP and Beca.

Four weeks ago, work a few streets away by the alliance also came under the spotlight.

Duke Street was closed to traffic as contractors ripped up and relaid pavers to correct a too-steep grade, which had buses bottoming out on the road.

The work came with a $100,000 bill, paid for by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

An investigation into the Duke Street problem revealed the paved area was not built to design specifications.

Questions put to the alliance, via the Queenstown Lakes District Council, on Monday, May 6:

  • Is the council aware of these cracks?
  • Is this the expected quality for the new footpath - why or why not? 
  • Does any action need to be taken? If so, details of what and any cost indication. 
  • Is the council confident the alliance team prepared the ground adequately, especially in regards to compacting over underground pipes or drains? Could this be the cause of the cracks?
  • Is the council confident the concrete mix itself was of an adequate standard? Could this be the cause of the cracks?
  • Does the council expect these cracks to worsen overtime or can we expect that they have settled?
  • What advice, if any, has the council sought on these cracks?

Main image: Cracks are appearing on sections of new footpath on Queenstown's Thompson Street, but the alliance delivering the road works is slow to offer any explanation.

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