SCIRT e-news 17 February 2012

Posted 17 Feb 2012 by SCIRT Popular


Building infrastructure that can stand the test of time

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You may have seen members of the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) out and about as we rebuild our earthquake-damaged underground infrastructure. What isn't so visible is the work going on behind the scenes to ensure we deliver stronger infrastructure that supports a stronger Christchurch.

The huge scale of the rebuild, combined with on-going seismic activity, means that the challenge that SCIRT faces is quite unique. Our planning processes need to respond to a range of factors. We need to be smart about the way we plan, design and construct our infrastructure so that it better withstands future earthquake events.

We use a number of different strategies to increase the strength of our infrastructure, such as:

  • Using modern materials, such as polyethylene pipes instead of cement pipes. Polyethylene is lightweight and flexible and is better able to withstand seismic activity. A good example is the new 1.8 metre diameter polyethylene wastewater pipeline being put in place at Woodham Road.
  • Designing redundancy into our networks. This means that in areas where there has been significant damage to infrastructure routes we supplement existing services as a way of managing the risk from future earthquakes. The new pipeline at McCormack's Bay Road is an example of this.
  • Finding innovative solutions. SCIRT recently completed the first stage of a project to rebuild the badly damaged Huntsbury Reservoir. Damage to the reservoir meant it wasn't possible to simply repair and use it in the same way and instead the reservoir is being modified so that there are two separate tanks.
  • Incorporating ground stabilisation into repair work. The SCIRT project to stabilise the land under Fitzgerald Avenue improves the ground conditions and will provide better support for the retaining wall. This is achieved by inserting more than 700 columnsinto the section of riverside that supports the road.

SCIRT's goal is to build infrastructure that will give people security and confidence in the future of Christchurch – it needs to withstand weather, traffic, earthquakes and anything else that is thrown at it! The good news is that, where infrastructure has been permanently rebuilt, it is standing up very well.

Understanding temporary traffic management


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The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) is repairing the city's damaged roads, water supply, wastewater and storm water networks.

When work is happening on or under a road there is usually a need to change the flow of traffic to allow space for the equipment and people doing the construction work. This is done by implementing a Traffic Management Plan for the work site. The goal with temporary traffic management is to strike a balance between safety and convenience. While safety around SCIRT worksites is the number one priority, it is also important to minimise disruption to residents and road users.

Designing and implementing traffic management plans is a specialised field of work. What may seem like a simple task is actually very involved. If the traffic management is not working effectively then there is a real risk of someone getting seriously injured.

Before any construction can start on a SCIRT worksite the contractor will have an approved traffic management plan in place. This plan will provide a safe work area for the construction team and help keep the public safe and away from any hazards.

All SCIRT contractors follow a strict process with their traffic management plans:

  • The contractor's traffic team develops a traffic management design to suit the planned construction.
  • This design is reviewed to ensure that it is consistent with the New Zealand Transport Agency Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management.
  • The final version is then approved by Traffic Management Coordinators at the Christchurch City Council.
  • Once the plan is approved, the plan can be implemented and emergency services are advised of this upcoming temporary change to traffic flow.

The works that SCIRT is carrying out are crucial to the rebuild of our city, but it must be done safely. It is important that everyone follows posted speed limits and drives to the conditions.

If you see a detour sign then follow the arrows and the symbol of the square – then keep following these signs until the detour ends. We will try to give you as much notice as possible about upcoming changes to traffic conditions. Our aim is to ensure that all major work sites are well advertised so you can make decisions about how, when and where you travel.

Traffic cones and a detour sign on a road

Traffic Management signage for MacDow Fletcher's project at the Pages Road/Woodham Road intersection.

SCIRT is working with Christchurch City Council and New Zealand Transport Agency to develop a website with an interactive map that shows the location of major works sites and their effects on traffic flow so travellers can make informed choices about travel.

More information

Our site has more detail about temporary traffic management.



Helping the rebuild – high interest at Careers Open Days

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Want to work for us? Fulton Hogan received an overwhelmingly positive response to this question last week at its Careers Open Day.

Fulton Hogan is part of the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), which is repairing the city's earthquake damaged roads, water supply and wastewater systems.

The SCIRT programme of projects is one of the largest and most complex civil engineering programmes of work ever undertaken in New Zealand. It will take around five years to complete and is expected to cost in the order of $2 billion.

To meet this challenge, Fulton Hogan is recruiting for a range of managerial and operational roles including roading construction foreman, project managers, excavator operators, engineers, construction general hands and STMS traffic controllers.

Over 200 people attended the career open days at the Hornby Office. Ready for an interview, the candidates brought their CV and talked with Fulton Hogan managers about the career opportunities available. The people who attended the open days will learn this week if they are successful in gaining a second job interview.

A large percentage of the candidates are likely to be offered positions with Fulton Hogan either now or in the future. Patrice Wilkin, South Island recruiter for Fulton Hogan feels positive about matching candidates to available vacancies:

There was an excellent buzz around the place. Just as important as skills and experience, is people having the right attitude to work for such a project. People are very positive about the jobs and the work environment we offer.

SCIRT believes that being involved in the rebuild will provide workers with great exposure to different construction companies that are leading the way for construction in New Zealand. Workers will benefit by developing new skills and also have the opportunity to play a part in rebuilding our city.

People seated watching a slide presentation

Fulton Hogan Careers Open Day

Entry to the Fulton Hogan depot with Careers Open Day signs

The doors at the Fulton Hogan Hornby Office were open to discuss career opportunities

Zareen and Patrice stand in front of an excavator

Recruiters Zareen Wainwright (left) and Patrice Wilkin (right) at the open career day


How to keep in touch

The people of Christchurch are at the heart of SCIRT’s rebuild programme. We provide a range of different ways for you to stay informed - so keep an eye on these places:


  • In your community:If you are visiting one of the Christchurch City Council libraries/service centres, look out for our distinctive SCIRT display boards. They contain fact sheets about the work SCIRT is doing.
    Translated fact sheets are currently being prepared. These will be available in Chinese, Korean and Samoan and will be distributed through the:
    • Rewi Alley Cultural and Education Centre
    • Aranui Community Trust
    • Christchurch Migrants Centre


  • Newspapers:Watch out for our regular updates in Christchurch newspapers.
  • Letterbox:Keep an eye on your letterbox for notification about upcoming works in your street.

You can also email us at or phone the Call Centre on (03) 941 8999.

A SCIRT public display board


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