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Shade sails in Armidale Mall reach end of life

Shade sails in Armidale Mall reach end of life

A failure with a component of the shade sails in the Armidale Mall and the poor condition of the sail material has left Armidale Regional Council with no choice but to remove the sails from the posts as soon as practicable.

Council’s Program Leader Parks and Facilities Richard Morsley said a loud bang was heard by mall retailers that appeared to be associated with the shade sails at the entrance to the mall arcade.

“Upon investigation, it was found that one of the stainless steel tensioning units had snapped,” said Mr Morsley.

“The sails are held under tension and it appears that due to the age of the sails the material had shrunk to some degree and lost some elasticity needed to cope with winter conditions and wind pressure.”

Council staff ensured that the situation was made safe and advice was sought about the best approach going forward. Given the age of the sails, the decision was taken to remove the sails from the posts as soon as practicable. This work will be undertaken as soon as the wind has subsided and an elevated platform is available to carry out the work.

The sails were installed in 2004-5 as a component of the last mall refurbishment project and have been well maintained since that time. Structures such as these have a limited life however and clearly the sails have reached that point.

“It needs to be stressed that the supporting poles and associated infrastructure have not been affected and are in a sound condition,” said Mr Morsley.

“The sails and supporting structure were planned to be removed as part of the Mall refurbishment, however the current circumstances mean that they will come down earlier than expected.”

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