Infrastructure upgrades  |  22 Jan 2020

Plans to drill a tunnel underneath the Heathcote River and Ferry Road roundabout to install a wastewater pipeline have been delayed a month because the specialist equipment needed for the project is tied up on the West Coast.

Contractors working for Christchurch City Council had hoped to drill the tunnel, which forms part of the Lyttelton wastewater project, this month but the work is now planned to begin in February.

Specialist equipment is needed to drill the tunnel and the only drilling rig in New Zealand capable of doing the job has been completing a project on the West Coast.

“Unfortunately the West Coast project has taken longer than expected so we’ve needed to wait until the rig is available,’’ says Council Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont.

“That means we will not be closing Ferry Road as we had planned overnight on 25 January.

"We have revised our work schedule and are now planning to start the drilling work in mid-February. Once the drilling is completed, we will need to temporarily close Ferry Road so that we can pull the wastewater pipe through the drill shot but exactly when that happens will depend on how quickly the drilling progresses.

“We will advise people when the closure is happening so they can factor that into the travel plans,’’ Ms Beaumont says.

This map shows where the tunnel will be drilled and the new wastewater pipeline installed.