Demolition to start on Ferrymead bridge
Demolition is set to begin on the old Ferrymead bridge, and the public today has the chance to find out more about its $34 million replacement.
Workers have constructed two temporary bridges that will maintain the connection between Sumner and the city.
Vital services - traffic, water, sewerage, power and telecommunications - now run under the temporary bridges and will be maintained throughout the demolition and construction process.
The next stage of the project involves the demolition of the old bridge using a type of crane called a "nibbler".
Christchurch City Council city and environment general manager Jane Parfitt emphasised the strategic significance of the bridge.
"It is a crucial structure connecting the city to the coastal suburbs in the southeast. Its construction is closely connected to the long-term prosperity of the city," she said.
"This is a strategic transportation corridor and shows that the rebuild is extending beyond the central city to the suburbs."
Demolition of the old bridge was expected to take about three months.
Piling work will then begin, which involves driving 10 piles, with a diameter ranging from 1.1 to 2.4 metres, 25m into the riverbed.
Piling work is expected to take 15 months.
Parfitt said it was a "huge construction project".
"We are building the Ferrymead bridge to the very highest engineering standards to ensure that the lifeline between the city and the Sumner, Redcliffs and Mt Pleasant suburbs is maintained,'' she said.
"When you drive piles into the ground there's going to be noise and vibrations.
''Work on the Ferrymead bridge has been scheduled for a long time. The earthquakes have delayed this project and made us reconsider the seismic dangers in the area.
''Consequently, we are getting a much more robust engineering solution, but it will take time."
The project has received substantial funding from the NZ Transport Agency, which is providing $22.12m.
A public information drop-in session will be held today from 4pm to 7pm at the Mt Pleasant Yacht Club.
The public will have the opportunity to talk to experts on the project and find out how it will affect them.