Gondola could be reopened in March
The Christchurch gondola could reopen at the end of next month if the city council allows the construction of rockfall protection on reserve land in the Heathcote Valley.
The company which owns the popular tourist attraction has applied to the council for two easements within Scotts Valley Reserve so it can build two bunds and a rockfall catch fence.
The first bund will be about 45 metres long and will be built above the base station to protect it and part of the neighbouring visitor car park from rockfalls. The second bund will be about 10m long and will be above the fourth gondola tower to protect it.
The rockfall catch fence will be about 40m long and will be built about 30m below the Summit Rd to protect the sixth gondola tower.
Michael Esposito, managing director of The Wood Scenic Line which owns the gondola, said the company already had the necessary building and resource consents in place but needed the council to grant easements over the land before work on them could begin.
"Hopefully, it's just a formality," he said.
Once the easements were in place it would take only about four weeks to build the bunds and the fence.
The target was to have the gondola open by the end of March.
The gondola has been closed since the February 2011 quake.
In a report for tomorrow's Hagley-Ferrymead Community Board meeting, Christchurch City Council policy and leasing administrator John Allen has recommended the board use its delegated authority to grant the easements, subject to the payment of a one-off compensation fee and consent being obtained from the minister of conservation.