Better streets & spaces  |  10 Jul 2019

Steady progress is being made on replacing the ageing sewer and water pipes that run beneath one of Christchurch’s busiest streets.

The pipe renewal work is part of an $18.4 million project to upgrade the infrastructure on Riccarton Road between Harakeke and Matipo Streets and to install bus priority lanes in some sections of the road.

Contractors Fulton Hogan have had to dig a trench more than four metres deep to access the pipes, some of which are nearly 100 years old.

Since they started work in February, they have installed more than 920 metres of new water pipes and 693 metres of new sewer pipe.

“Because the pipes are buried so deep, work was always going to progress slowly but the contractors are more than a third of the way through replacing the main sewer pipe so they are making steady progress,’’ says Christchurch City Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis.

About 1.6 kilometres of sewer pipe and almost a kilometre of water main pipe need replacing because they have reached the end of their life. Several hundred metres of sewer laterals and water sub mains also need to be replaced.

“Once all the underground infrastructure has been replaced, the contractors will turn their attention to rebuilding Riccarton Road and installing bus priority measures so buses can travel up and down Riccarton Road with more ease,’’ Ms Ellis says.

“Riccarton Road has more than 800 bus movements a day and around 3000 passengers boarding here per weekday, so the bus priority measures will provide more reliable bus travel for a lot of people, especially at peak times when they need to get to work or home.’’

The bus priority work along Riccarton Road includes sections of bus lane on each side of the road, bus lights at traffic signals so buses can proceed ahead of general traffic, and longer bus stops so that getting on and off is easier and quicker for passengers.

A tree-lined median is also being installed between Clarence and Matipo streets to improve the appearance of Riccarton Road and make it a more pleasant destination for shoppers and visitors.

It is expected to take until December 2020 to complete all the planned work on Riccarton Road but construction will pause towards the end of November 2019 to make Cup and Show Week and Christmas shopping easier. Work is planned to recommence around 6 January 2020. 

People can see the latest information about the Riccarton Road ugrade on the Council's web page.