05 Feb 2019

Work on reinstating the critical road link between Sumner and Lyttelton is almost finished.

The Christchurch City Council team and contractors are on track to have Sumner Road reopened to traffic at the end of March.

The road has been closed to the public since tonnes of rocks came tumbling down onto it from the surrounding cliffs during the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

“Reinstating this road has been a massive undertaking but we are almost at the finishing line, Council Transport Planning and Delivery Manager Lynette Ellis says.

Sumner Road set to reopen at the end of March.

Sumner Road is set to reopen at the end of March.

“The final push is on to get the road surface laid, the safety barriers installed, and the line markings done. While our contractors are doing this work, there will be trucks moving through both Lyttelton and the Redcliffs-Sumner areas.

“At the Lyttelton end of the road, stonemasons are working to finish the retaining walls. The walls are being built from rocks that were salvaged from Sumner Road as part of the rockfall risk-reduction work, Ms Ellis says.

The work on Sumner Road is being jointly funded by the Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

“Getting this critical transport route between the city and the Port of Lyttelton reopened is going to be a major milestone. It will make moving over-dimension freight to and from the port much easier and it will mean no more dangerous goods convoys through the tunnel, she says.

“It will also reconnect the communities of Lyttelton and Sumner and open up access to the Port Hills for cyclists.

“When the road does reopen, there will be changes in traffic patterns as some heavy vehicles return to moving through Redcliffs, Sumner and parts of Lyttelton for the first time since the February 2011 earthquake. We will be working with the affected communities to let them know about the changes.

Getting Sumner Road reopened has involved:

  • Blasting 100,000 cubic metres of rock and moving it to Gollans Bay Quarry
  • Building a 407-metre-long catch bench to intercept falling rocks from the Crater Rim Bluffs. The back of the bench is 18 metres high, and the 15-metre-wide floor of cushioning material is designed to trap falling rocks 
  • Building a 50-metre-long, seven-metre-high rock interception bund
  • Reinstating 2.6 kilometres of road
  • Installing 2.6 kilometres of safety barrier
  • Replacing/resealing 16,700 square metres of road
  • Repairing/rebuilding  30 retaining walls, the biggest of which is 132 metres long and seven metres high
  • Planting 30,000 plants