Seventy road and infrastructure jobs to be redone, hundreds of substandard jobs remedied
The rebuild agency tasked with the $2.2 billion project of fixing Christchurch's earthquake-battered infrastructure has just over a month to re-do 70 substandard jobs.
The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (Scirt) has revealed it had "hundreds of non-conformance reports at any one time" when it was in full swing.
The reports record instances where checks discover work that has not been done in accordance with requirements, including construction standards.
Scirt – which was in charge of fixing the city's earthquake-damaged pipes, roads and drainage – says new technology used to repair pipes results in more defects, but is cheaper than alternative methods.
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Christchurch City Council head of three waters and waste John Mackie said Scirt had 70 "non-conformance reports" requiring "some re-work" at the end of April. The work had to be done by June 30, when Scirt's programme ended and it handed over to the city council.
"Good progress is being made by the Scirt delivery teams in order to complete the handover within the timeframe," he said.
Scirt executive general manager Ian Campbell said he was "very confident" the June deadline would be met.
"When things were in full operation we had hundreds of non-conformance reports at any one time.
"A lot of people forget how big this programme is . . . $2.2b is a helluva lot of street work.
"Seventy might sound like a big number, but in that context it's nothing," he said.
Most of the work that needed re-doing related to pipe defects.
"Towards the back end of the programme, a lot of the repairs have been sort of spot repairs, minor damage being repaired, and that's been repaired by using pipe-lining techniques.
"Rather than dig up the pipes and replace them we insert a liner and that's quite a tricky technology . . . if you get a wrinkle in a liner, or something that's sticking out that might trap some debris, they've got to go back in with a special tool and just, sort of, grind it back," Campbell said.
The work was "not a big job", but was "important".
"From our point of view it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing because it means you're picking up and making sure everything's good," Campbell said.
Some of the technology being used in the programme had rarely been used in Christchurch.
"There have been some learning curve issues. The pipe lining, as you can imagine, trying to inject a liner into an existing pipe with all its defects and everything else, is quite a tricky technology.
"As a result you tend to get more defects with that sort of work than you do with other work, but that's an offset to the fact that the pipe-lining technology's a lot cheaper than the alternatives," Campbell said.
The construction phase of Scirt's programme was meant to be finished by December 2016, but some projects were not completed on time.
Scirt was bound by a 12-month defect liability period once the remaining jobs were completed.
Each of its estimated 640 projects went through a design phase, construction phase, handover phase – which included quality checks – and certified practical completion, which involved making sure all non-conformances were fixed.
"What we're trying to achieve right now is to get all the projects through the practical completion gate . . . in the next sort of six weeks."
Campbell expected Scirt's staffing levels would be reduced in June "to a more efficient sort of scale" to deal with any outstanding defects.
"What the board is discussing right now is 'well, we're not going to need to maintain a full organisation for that 12 month period, what's it going to look like'."