Iconic Sumner containers to go

Posted 05 Dec 2016 by GovtCCC Popular

Two thirds of the shipping containers at Peacocks Gallop will be removed today, with the remainder near Deans Head going next Monday.



Shipping containers were placed on several sites after the February 2011 earthquakes to protect road users from slope instability hazards from the land behind the containers. The crumbling cliff face and containers along Peacocks Gallop have become an enduring image of the earthquakes. Substantial remediation works have now been completed to a stage where the containers are no longer needed to protect road users.


Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has undertaken the hazard remediation work at Peacocks Gallop and Deans Head on behalf of Christchurch City Council and NZ Transport Agency as part of the Sumner-Lyttelton Corridor re-opening programme. It’s been no small task, involving contractors moving approximately 50,000m³ of material that collapsed from the 75 metre-high cliff face during the February 2011 Earthquake. The innovative design utilised this material to construct a permanent bund to protect road users from rockfall.


The project also involved the complex demolition of three cliff-edge houses and the removal of around 63,000m³ of landslide material on the adjacent hillside, Deans Head. The material was removed via a temporary haul road built from Peacocks Gallop to Deans Head, which meant minimal disruption to road users. Several technological advancements such as remote control diggers and drones were used to successfully deliver this high risk project.


“The work has been finished within budget and ahead of schedule,” says LINZ Port Hills Group Manager Brenden Winder.


“But more importantly, it has been completed safely in a very complex and hazardous environment. We recognise the container removals are a big milestone for progress in the area, and we’re sure residents will be happy to see them gone. We’re keen to get all the major site works completed before the Christmas holidays.”


Christchurch City Council General Manager City Services David Adamson says seeing the containers go will be hugely important to the local community.


“The containers with the damaged cliff face beyond have become such an iconic sight. The containers have had an important role as a temporary safety measure, and even looked great adorned with art work for a time. But it’s fantastic to see this work completed early so that the Sumner community, and all the people who visit the beach, aren’t constantly faced with this very visible reminder of the earthquakes. LINZ and their contractors have tackled this very complex task superbly.”


Once the containers are gone, temporary fences will be put in place to prevent people accessing the areas where the hazard remains, before permanent security fences are installed in front of the bund early next year.


Laser monitoring to detect movement on the slope, undertaken from the Southshore spit adjacent to the site, will continue for a month after the works are complete. This data will be used as a baseline in the case of any future significant earthquakes.




The container removal starts today at 9am, and is scheduled to take all day. It is expected that around two-thirds of the containers will be removed today. Traffic management is in place in the area, so the nearest parking is at Sumner Surf Lifesaving Club, and walk back along the beach.


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