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WORK is about to begin at the picturesque Pohangina Cemetery to repair and replace damaged inter-connecting pathways that are posing possible safety issues for visitors.
Broken concrete and sunken slabs were discovered during an annual inspection of the cemetery and plans are now finalised for the work to be carried out this month.
The cemetery has 196 available plots and its register shows the first burial took place in June, 1913.
Fulton Hogan Department Manager, Allan McElwee, said the central concrete driveway would be replaced with hot mix and the asphalt side pathways removed and sown with grass.
“It’s turning it back into what it’s supposed to be, a full lawn cemetery,” he said.
Mr McElwee said the pathways had broken up over the years and it was only a matter of time before someone visiting the site could possibly have an accident.
“The existing concrete has been there about 50 to 60 years, is all hand-poured and has no reinforcing by the looks of it,” he said.
The project’s first phase will be the laying of the hot mix driveway, which is expected to take up to five days, but contractors will wait for the growing season before sowing the grass.
“We’ll make the paths safe to walk on,” said Mr McElwee, “and do the final finish when the weather is better.”
Cemetery Administrator, Janine Hawthorn, said similar work was carried out at the Waituna West Cemetery a few years ago.
“The concrete was lifting and starting to be a problem for people visiting the cemetery,” she said. “It was also unsightly, so it’s been turned into a lawn cemetery and now looks much nicer.”