Repairs to re-open Sumner Road to get underway


Preparations are getting underway to repair the earthquake-damaged Evans Pass section of Sumner Road and re-open this vital link between Lyttelton and the Summit Road.

A NZ Transport Agency, Christchurch City Council and CERA governance group this week agreed on a scope of works and allocated funding to allow the project to get underway.

The governance group is responsible for co-ordinating the rebuild of earthquake-damaged Council infrastructure. The majority of funds for this project are coming from NZ Transport Agency. . 

“This is an important road for the community, the region’s resilience and the transport of specialised freight,” says Director Council Facilities and Infrastructure David Adamson.

The 2.6 kilometre road is an important link between communities in Lyttelton and Sumner, an alternative route out in emergencies and an alternative route for port vehicles unable to use the Lyttelton Tunnel.

“Reducing geotechnical hazards and reinstating the road and retaining walls along the pass is complex and costly,” says David Adamson.

“The governance group has worked hard to develop a solution that provides value for money, while achieving our overall aim of reopening the road to an acceptable level of risk.

We've completed a thorough assessment of the proposed options and site conditions and have agreed a plan and the necessary funding that should see work start later this year and the road reopen in late 2017 or early 2018,” says David Adamson.

The New Zealand Transport Agency’s Group Manager of Planning and Investment, Dave Brash, says other alternatives have been looked at.

“We’ve considered an upgrade of Dyers Pass or Gebbies Pass and creating a new road from Heathcote Valley to Cass Bay.

“But, while we appreciate the thoroughness of the Council’s investigation, we have decided to support reinstating the current road as the most cost effective solution to address the access needs for Christchurch and Lyttelton.”

CERA Deputy Chief Executive Implementation Warwick Isaacs says the repair and re-opening of this section of Sumner Road is a great outcome given it is such an important transport link for the community and the wider economy.

“While other options have been considered, this solution is the most effective for achieving a fully functioning infrastructure network. Residents and businesses have seen the road as being significant to their recovery, and it’s great to see it will be back in action.”

The project includes the removal of unsafe rock above the road and a reshape of the land to reduce the risk of rockfall onto the road below.

“The safety of road users is the top priority. Reopening this road adds to Christchurch’s resilience and is an important part of Lyttelton and Canterbury’s economic recovery.

Its stunning views make it popular with local day-trippers, tourists and cyclists and we are working closely with the Department of Conservation to minimise the effects on surrounding flora and fauna,” says David Adamson.

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Or please contact:

Anne-Marie Robinson
Senior Communications Adviser
Christchurch City Council
027 703 1974