Picton car rentals forced to move
Car rental companies have been forced out of their offices next to a Picton ferry terminal because of ongoing ground movement.
Buildings and wharves around the harbour, owned by Port Marlborough, were deemed to have ‘‘performed well’’ in last November’s earthquake but investigations last week showed continued ground movement.
The rental offices will be moved to the Interislander terminal next to the rental office building.
Port Marlborough business delivery manager Rhys Welbourn said despite the terminal being next to the car rental offices there was no issue with the land around the terminal.
He said the cause of the movement was the foundation of the rental building not being strong enough to stop ground movement.
‘‘The foundation of the terminal is pile driven and the rental building is not,’’ Welbourn said.
Welbourn said the buildings and wharves were assessed by engineers immediately after the November 14, 2016 earthquake and performed well despite some superficial damage.
Welbourn said it was a low-risk approach.
‘‘We’ve been monitoring since the earthquake and as time went on there has been functional issues due to slipping,’’ Welbourn said.
Functional issues were described as issues such as doors sticking.
‘‘It’s now got to the point where engineers have done a review and we decided to move out and we are looking to move them to the ferry terminal building,’’ Welbourn said.
An initial assessment following the November 2016 earthquake suggested the ground movement would stop.
Port Marlborough hoped to avoid disruption in the process.
‘‘We are working with the car rental companies and InterIslander to minimise any potential impacts to their operations.
‘‘It’s early days, we’re trying to do it the most efficient way,’’ Welbourn said.
The plan was to move the rental companies next to the baggage area in the ferry terminal.
The port also was planning for a permanent fix and hoped to avoid disruption in the upcoming holiday period.
‘‘We’re working on longer term solutions and will move as quickly as we can being mindful that Christmas is fast approaching,’’ Welbourn said.
In last November’s earthquake, some damage to the ferry passenger terminal disrupted Interislander foot traffic for two weeks.