Sumner Rd could close until 2015

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 13:01 26/09/2012

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It may be three years before a road connecting Sumner to Lyttelton can reopen, a city council manager says.

Sumner Rd, which skirts the eastern edge of the Port Hills between the beachside suburb and the harbour town, was badly damaged by rockfall and has been closed since the February 2011 earthquake.

In a letter to residents, council road corridor operations manager Paul Burdon said work to make the road safe and passable had made little difference.

''Remediation, including the clearing of loose rock, has made no significant difference to the amount of rock likely to fall on to the road and beyond in any future significant seismic event,'' he said.

The council was investigating ''complex work, including excavation and stabilisation techniques''.

''Until investigations are complete, we cannot confirm time frames, but we do know the damage is substantial and could possibly take two to three years to complete,'' he said.

The work would be done on the crater rim bluffs that overlook the road and would allow access to the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch quarry to be re-established.

Work clearing rocks from Evans Pass Rd, which runs south out of Sumner and connects with Sumner Rd, was progressing well, Burdon said.

The road should be open next month, providing a route between Sumner and Mt Pleasant.

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- The Press

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