City's rubble not enough to finish port work

Lyttelton Port of Christchurch is scouring Christchurch's damaged hills to source earthquake rubble for its harbour infill project.

About 700 trucks visit Lyttelton port each week carrying central-city demolition material as part of a $10 million-plus land reclamation project.

At some point next year, the concrete and bricks trucked from the city will run out as the demolition is completed.

The port company has been in talks to locate extra rock from Redcliffs, Sumner and other "cliff" suburbs.

It hopes to take debris from rockfalls because much of that rock needs to be cleared.

The port is in talks with private landowners.

It is also in talks with the Christchurch City Council to take rock from the closed Sumner-Evans Pass roads.

The 10-hectare reclamation project was put forward by the port company as a "win-win" for its expansion plan and for the demolition companies.

However, there was early opposition from residents and environmentalists, worried about debris and damage to the harbour.

The volume of truck visits each day and pollution from those vehicles remained major concerns for the town, Lyttelton-Mt Herbert Community Board deputy chairman Jeremy Agar said.

The board and residents were suggesting the port company move the trucks from Norwich Quay down to the foreshore, Agar said.

Port company chief executive Peter Davie said while there had been some early environmental concerns around the harbour, reclamation work was progressing well.

Filling the harbour required a special consent under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act.

"We have a whole series of monitoring that is put in place through Environment Canterbury, and they're very happy with what's going on from an environmental perspective, " Davie said.

Each month, port staff checked nearby foreshore and beaches, picking up any debris, including that not connected to the project.

So far, it had filled only 3.15ha or so of its targeted 10ha, costing $5m.

That 3.15ha reclamation equated to 175 Olympic-size swimming pools.

In terms of getting rocks from the Sumner-Evans Pass roads, the port was waiting on studies by the council into how that road could be remediated. It was was in preliminary talks.

"They expect to be finished that [study] by the end of this calendar year . . . we would like the road reopened and, secondly, if there is rock available from that, we would be quite willing to take it for reclamation."

The Press