Race on to get stadium finished
Are you going to Saturday's Crusaders game?
Joe Flynn is no stranger to the pressure of time-sensitive stadium rebuilds.
He oversaw the redevelopment of Auckland's Eden Park before last year's Rugby World Cup and thought at the time that having five weeks to road-test the upgrade was cutting it fine.
The Christchurch Stadium Trust chief executive now has less than 24 hours to complete the finishing touches to the city's new stadium before the Crusaders run out on to the former Rugby League Park on Saturday night.
Flynn said pulling off the development of a $30 million international sports venue in under 100 days was a proud moment.
"It's been a tremendous effort of people throwing all their energy behind it," he said.
"The programme is extremely tight and there's no doubt all the way through there's been an intensity."
More than 18,000 man-hours have been invested since construction began on December 20. In the past week, up to 500 workers have been on site each day.
Just as earthquakes created the need for a new stadium when AMI Stadium was damaged in February last year, quakes created some problems during Christchurch Stadium's construction.
"The shakes that happened, particularly on December 23, caused some rethink of the seismic calculations of the engineering. It didn't slow us up but made us think about things a bit more in terms of the [quake] issues," Flynn said.
Stabilising gravel rafts were dug a metre into the ground to strengthen each stand's foundations.
The rafts contain layers of geotech matting that, combined with gravel, create a rigid platform beneath the stands.
The project's construction firm, architects and structural and civil engineers were joined by more than a dozen sub-contractors, mostly from Christchurch.
Project manager Ant Beale, of RCP, said it was busiest project he had worked on.
"From go to whoa, it's been the fastest job," he said.
However, the build mostly "managed itself".
"We've been very fortunate that all the contractors on this site are all shooting for the same goal. They all realise the tight time constraints we're up against,'' he said.
"They are the true heroes of this; the 400 to 500 guys [on site each day] that we've had as an average."
The 5000 man-hours each week was "serious labour", Beale said.
"Those guys have just done a fantastic job. The camaraderie they've got together and the attitude to help, it's unbelievable."
Budget constraints meant many items had been recycled from other stadiums, notably AMI Stadium's turf, goalposts and big screen.
Dunedin's decommissioned Carisbrook provided the lights.
"We've asked people all the way through whether we can beg and borrow, and people have been very generous and donated stuff to us where they can," Beale said.
The design was a work in progress, with Beale joking that it was completed just last week.
The remaining work was just "tidying up the little edges", he said.
"We'll be on time and we'll be playing a game on Saturday."
See Your Weekend magazine on Saturday for the story behind transferring the turf from the old stadium to the new.
- © Fairfax NZ News
If you were voting for a Christchurch mayor today, who would you vote for?Related story: Dalziel and Parker set for mayoral race