Sumner Rd closed until 2017
The route between Lyttelton and Sumner will remain closed until at least late 2016.
Christchurch City Council unit manager transport and greenspace John Mackie said funding to repair Sumner Rd had been earmarked in the Three Year Plan with reopening estimated for late 2016 or early 2017.
Mackie said a more accurate indication would not be available until ongoing geotechnical investigations were finished.
Over-sized vehicles or those carrying dangerous goods must navigate the steep, windy route around Governors Bay over Gebbies Pass. A truck carrying a digger tipped over on that route yesterday, blocking the road for 12 hours.
Lyttelton Port of Christchurch chief executive Peter Davie said while the company wanted to have Sumner Rd open as soon as possible, he understood that there was major work to be done first.
BP NZ: Governors Bay Rd not viable long-term
BP New Zealand communications manager Jonty Mills said Sumner Rd road was the prefered route for fuel tankers.
Since the road had been closed, tankers carrying diesel and jet fuel had been allowed to travel through the Lyttelton tunnel, but those carrying petrol were allowed through only at night and had to be escorted by tunnel control staff because of the extra risk posed by the highly-flammable liquid.
If the tunnel was closed, the tankers would be forced to use Governors Bay Rd.
"From our perspective, one of the alternative routes was the Governors Bay Rd [but] that's a tight, winding road that's not a viable long-term option."
Mills said BP New Zealand had been working with the Christchurch City Council and the NZ Transport Agency for some time to "come up with a solution".
"Like everybody we just want an amicable solution. It is important that there is good safe roads, important for Christchurch full-stop."