Last minute rush for harbour opening
A week ago resources to move the tonnes of earth and rock from the temporary bund placed around the public boat ramp were scarce.
Mountains of excavated marine bed had been formed in a protective bund so contractors could work in a dry area while a 10m extension to the ramp was completed.
With the opening of the harbour just days away, contractors pulled out all the stops to get it ready for the official opening on Tuesday.
By Wednesday earthmoving trucks were lined up as excavating equipment dug away at the bund, made up of a mix of seabed and limestone rock, to be carted away.
The day before that a call had gone out for help from the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) network.
By Wednesday a southerly storm with winds gusting at more than 100kmh blasted up the coast and earthmoving work had stopped temporarily on the coastal highway.
‘‘A few things had stopped up the coast.’’ said project manager Kaiko¯ura Marina Rebuild Stu Haynes. Initially the word came back. ‘‘We haven’t got anything, we’re busy but it only takes one breakdown, or weather like this when you can’t track around the coast for a truck to show up, while things have stopped up the coast,’’ said Haynes.
Haynes said that every time the seabed was excavated there had to be a bund placed around the area.
‘‘There were a lot of extensions on the boat ramp.
‘‘Even three weeks ago there were changes to the programme.
‘‘The bund had been put up so seawater could be pumped out while the boat ramp was extended.
‘‘We had pumps on top of the bund pumping water back out to the ocean so we could work inside it.’’
Among the trucks from Christchurch and the West Coast there were a few familiar local faces.
Haynes said NCTIR had used a heap of local industry support to beef up the strength of the team.
‘‘We used a lot of local guys, we had the supervision and technical side covered with the NCTIR delivery model, and then used a heap of local guys to chip in.’’ he said.
Trucks lined up last Wednesday to take away excavated material after last-minute work at South Bay Marina.