SCIRT e-news 21 June, 2012

Posted 21 Jun 2012 by SCIRT Popular

Topics covered in this issue of SCIRT e-news:

  1. Tram tracks North Avon Road: new infrastructure uncovers old infrastructure
  2. Red Cross working alongside SCIRT in neighbourhoods
  3. New wastewater management for city rolled out Halswell
  4. Antigua Street one way, detour from 25 June
  5. How to keep in touch

Tram tracks reminder of iron-age of public transport

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Construction companies frequently uncover more than clay and broken pipes as they dig up our streets.

Downer Construction, part of SCIRT, found an interesting reminder of times past recently at its North Avon Road work site in Richmond. Under the road are the remains of an old tram track to New Brighton.

In order to rebuild the road and replace the broken wastewater pipe, Downer is digging up the old railway sleepers and iron tracks, which date from 1910. They will then be recycled. Archaeologists are recording information on the remains of the tram tracks before they are removed. A report on the Richmond site and the discoveries along the way will be submitted to the Historic Places Trust and SCIRT/Downer when the project is completed.

In fact, there were two tram routes to New Brighton, built by rival companies as horse-drawn tramways in the late 19th century. Both were electrified with new rails laid by the Christchurch Tramway Board after 1905.  

The New Brighton Tramway Company built the line via Pages Road in 1887, adding on to the City Council line to the Linwood cemetery and “night soil” (toilet waste) reserve. It was electrified in 1906 then closed in 1952, replaced by diesel buses.

The City and Suburban Tramway Company built its line in sections, starting in 1893. Fully formed it ran from Manchester Street, along Cashel, into Stanmore, North Avon Road, North Parade and New Brighton Road. After crossing open land it ran along Travis Road, crossed open land again and turned into Bowhill Road, North Beach, and then along the Esplanade (now Marine Parade) to the New Brighton pier. After the company’s failure in 1895 it was sold to its debenture holder, John Brightling, who operated the line until its sale to the Christchurch Tramway Board ten years later.

The line was electrified to Burwood in 1910, extended to North Beach and the New Brighton Pier in 1914. It was closed beyond Marshland Rd corner in 1931. 

The North Beach line was replaced by trolley buses travelling via Fitzgerald Avenue, Hills Road and Shirley Road. Diesel buses took over in 1956. 

The tram line as far as Marshland Rd, including North Avon Road, remained open until 1934. It was replaced with trolley buses until 1951 when diesel buses took over.

For more Christchurch tram details:

North Avon Road and Richmond streets detailed works notice


More details about trams in Christchurch.

North Avon Road and Richmond streets works notice.




SCIRT and the NZ Red Cross – working together


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SCIRT and the Red Cross are working together to support the people of Christchurch.

One of the ways that SCIRT does this is by partnering when we visit people who are about to be affected by our road works.

Some construction work creates unwanted effects, such as noise, dust or vibrations. SCIRT contractors try to minimise this as much as possible. But when essential services are buried deeply or are close to private properties, the construction effects for residents cannot always be avoided.

What SCIRT can do is advise people that this work is about to begin and find out about any special requirements that people may have. For example, nurse/doctor visits, Meals on Wheels or planned works on private property.

Given the scale of the rebuild programme, SCIRT is always looking at ways to increase the value in what it does. With the support of the Red Cross volunteers we are able to visit more residents without adding to overall costs and more quickly make support services available, if necessary.

SCIRT appreciates how stressful it can be for people to have road works outside their front gate, so it’s great to be able to stand alongside the Red Cross as Christchurch moves forward on the rebuild.




More robust wastewater system Halswell

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 A wastewater system new to Christchurch is currently being rolled out in part of Halswell. Pressure sewer pump systems are already used in many parts of New Zealand and in future will be used in several areas of Christchurch.

These systems provide reliable and robust wastewater management for residents, in relation to earthquake resilience.
City Care, as part of SCIRT, is currently working on a pressure sewer pump system for 36 properties in Halswell, the first permanent one of its type in the city.

The main reason for the installation of sewer pressure systems - which are located on private properties - is due to land levels dropping as a result of the earthquakes and the potential for future movements due to earthquakes.  This means that in some instances, remaining on the old gravity wastewater system will only be possible by either raising the property’s ground level or increasing the depth of an already deep wastewater main.  This would make earthquake repairs and on-going maintenance of the pipe a difficult, disruptive, time-consuming and expensive process. 

Pressure sewer systems have been chosen for the following reasons:
• Shallower, more flexible pipes
• Can still operate even if the pipe moves
• More resilient and better able to cope with seismic events
• Do not rely on gravity to transport wastewater
• Can provide storage during a power loss
• An average maintenance call out of once every 10 years
• Nominal cost to run the (electric) pump of $25- $30 annually.

The graphic shows in simple terms how the pressure sewer system operates. Most city households will remain on their existing wastewater systems because they are able to be repaired cost effectively and  gravity-based systems are still the best option for them. 

City Care is well underway on the communication and consultation phase of its first pressure sewer  pump project. Feedback has been positive, with residents understanding the necessity for a new way in which to manage wastewater in their neighbourhood. Read more detailed information on the works notice.

City Care’s Communication Team member Nicola Hunt and Project Manager Rashid Siddiqui with a pressure sewer pump lid and box used to assist with resident meetings.


Traffic detour Antigua Street from Monday 25 June

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Antigua St between Moorhouse Avenue and Disraeli  Street will be one lane and one way only, southbound, from Monday 25 June.

The one-way segment at the Moorhouse Ave and railway lines end of Antigua Street is likely to be in place for six weeks. However, a further segment of one-laning will follow, keeping the detour in place until late October.

Road users can avoid the diversion by travelling along Montreal Street from Brougham Street to Moorhouse Avenue.

The temporary one-way is due to the wastewater pipe replacement project in this area of the city and Addington.

The street will be one-laned in two segments, starting with the Disraeli to Moorhouse block. City Care, as part of SCIRT, is the contractor for this work.

The second one-laning southbound will be from Disraeli Street south to Brougham Street, after the first stage is completed.

The Metro bus Number 20, Barrington to Burnside, will detour from Antigua Street to Montreal Street for the duration of the project for its city-bound route.  has detailed information on the route and bus stop changes.

For more information on the traffic management and effects on residents in Burke Street, Ruskin Street and Fairfield Avenue, read the works notice.

The need for a deeper trench than originally anticipated to lay pipes, with associated dewatering and pumping equipment, is why Antigua Street needs to be temporarily narrowed for traffic.

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:

Online:if you have access to a computer then our website is an excellent way to get up to date information about any works in your area:

A SCIRT public display board


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 available in Chinese, Korean and Samoan and can be collected from:


  • Rewi Alley Cultural and Education Centre
  • Aranui Community Trust
  • Christchurch Migrants Centre
  • Christchurch City Council Service Centres.

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.


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