7 Nov 2023

From bare land to three levels high, a new timelapse video shows just how much progress has been made on Te Kaha, Canterbury’s multi-use arena, over the past 12 months.

The lead contractor of the $683-million project, BESIX Watpac installed a site camera near their office on Tuam St in November 2022 and has captured images of the precinct every five minutes, documenting the different phases of work.

Te Kaha Project Delivery chief executive, David Kennedy, says the past year has seen remarkable progress made on Te Kaha, as the project continues to meet its timing and budget goals.

“It’s not until you think back on how the site looked a year ago that you realise just how much progress BESIX Watpac and their sub-contractors have made,” says Mr Kennedy.

“Now that the vertical construction is well above the hoardings, people can watch the 30,000-capacity arena quickly taking shape. It’s an exciting time for Cantabrians.”

In November 2022 ground improvement works were well under way across what was essentially a bare site. Rammed aggregate piers (or RAPS) were installed vertically, deep into the ground, followed by major excavation works to prepare Te Kaha’s foundations.

Major concrete pours for the substructure (foundations) and ground floor columns and walls began in January and gradually worked north and east across the site from the southwest corner.

“The last major concrete pour for the concrete substructure was completed in August, and the ground floor concrete superstructure is expected to be completed by Christmas,” says Mr Kennedy.

As the concrete work progressed across the site, the first major piece of steel for the western grandstand was locked into place in June.

“The past five months have seen the vertical steel construction continue at pace,” says Mr Kennedy.

“The first levels of the main western stand are rapidly taking shape, and the steel rakers that will hold the tiered seating have been installed on the southern stand. This work is now progressing well up the eastern stand.”

Soon, the first of the huge steel radial trusses that will support the roof will be hoisted into place on the southern stand.

“These pieces of Te Kaha’s superstructure are going to be 36m tall – the height of a seven-storey building – and will make everyone suddenly realise just how big and spectacular this arena is going to be,” says Mr Kennedy.

“Once finished, Te Kaha will be 47m tall at the highest point of the roof, which is taller than the old IRD building on the opposite side of Madras St.”

Te Kaha is expected to be completed in April 2026.

For more information, visit tekahaproject.co.nz

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