Port Hills update

Posted 24 Jun 2011 by GovtCCC Popular
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Port Hills update

Work to stabilise priority areas and reassess the situation on the Port Hills following the 13 June earthquakes has been ongoing this week.

istchurch City Council General Manager Regulation and Democracy Peter Mitchell says all areas are being reassessed following recent earthquakes and this process is ongoing. Planning priority is placed on restoring lifelines - key access roads - and on life-threatening issues.

Clifton Terrace

Clifton Terrace is currently closed to vehicles as a result of a localised slip which occurred on 13 June.

Alternative access is available from Summit Road via a single lane gravel road through Gethsemane Gardens. Contractors are preparing to seal this road this week to make it easier for residents to use. A second access route for emergency services only is also being investigated.

Work on clearing the slip debris from the road was put on hold this week because of the instability of the surrounding hills: the concern was that if the debris was cleared, it would cause landslides further back on the hill. The retaining wall that supports the road has also failed, making it unsafe for vehicles to travel through.

Geotechnical engineers are right now planning a temporary solution that will enable one lane of traffic, directed by temporary traffic lights, to be opened on Clifton Terrace  

This work will be carried out as soon as it is safe to do so - this is expected to be within the coming fortnight.

Evans Pass Road

A road closure will likely be required on Evans Pass road in coming days, once work starts on clearing rockfall hazards from above the road.

As this is a key access road, a loader will be put on standby throughout the road closure to ensure the road can be cleared and access restored should a further aftershock block other Sumner access roads.

Heberden Avenue

Rockface inspections are being completed this week and remediation plans being prepared. Containers are being used to protect sections of the road from rockfall.

Richmond Hill

Potential locations for an alternative access track are being considered this week and more information will be available soon.

Safety in the Port Hills

There are a number of areas around Port Hills that are considered dangerous because of rockfall or cliff collapse hazards. Residents and others using the Port Hills are asked to keep away from cliff edges and fenced areas and follow advice on warning or danger signs.

Building Act notices

Building Act notices prohibiting entry will continue to be issued to houses that are considered dangerous - a further nine were issued this week in area around Sumner because of newly identified rockfall hazard and/or cliff collapse. Dangerous building notices have been issued under Section 124 of the Building Act. Reassessment and remediation work will be carried out over coming weeks and months and residents will be informed of progress.

The process for determining when it is safe for residents to return to their properties is still being developed and peer reviewed by an international expert in rockfalls to ensure that it is consistent with international best practice. The earthquakes of 13 June have had an impact on timelines as the priority has shifted to the reassessment of danger and immediate remedial work. Ultimately, decisions on when red placards will be removed will be made with input from a number of organisations through a robust process that has the safety of people and their homes as its main aim. We will keep you informed as this process is developed and timeframes established.


We will keep residents updated as work continues and, for specific information, you can email porthillsgeotech@ccc.govt.nz or visit the Port Hills section online at www.ccc.govt.nz/earthquake.


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