Harbourwatch blog

A behind-the-scenes look at the work going on in Lyttelton harbour

Thu 12 Mar

Cruise Berth piling complete

Lyttelton Port is one step closer to welcoming the world’s largest cruise ships to Canterbury with all piling complete on New Zealand’s first purpose-built cruise berth.

Since late 2018, 66 marine and 384 land-based piles totalling almost 10 kilometres have been driven in the project, ensuring the structure is ready to open in November and welcome the 80 cruise ships booked for the summer season.

From designers Beca to HEB Construction, Genesis Projects and LPC engineers, many teams have ensured the piling work was completed on time and minimised any potential risks to the marine environment in Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour.

LPC Infrastructure Manager Mike Simmers says it is exciting to reach this milestone in the project, and attention is now turning to the remaining work needed to ready the berth for November.

Wharf deck construction is progressing well, and over 2,000 rock bags have also been successfully placed underwater to provide scour protection to the seawall slope.

“The focus for the construction teams on site will now shift to the infrastructure on land behind the wharf, which includes a new electrical substation, lighting masts and underground services such as stormwater treatment systems and water reticulation pipework,” says Mike.

“There will also be a passenger shelter and amenities building constructed.”

LPC Strategic Engagement Manager Phil de Joux wants to thank the harbour community for their support during the piling stage of the project.

“We know this has been a noisy process, and we acknowledge that it could at times be disruptive to Lyttelton residents and business owners.”

“By providing regular updates on when piling was expected to occur, we hope we have helped people to plan around the anticipated noise and minimise its impact.”

Phil says LPC continues to work closely with Christchurch City Council, ChristchurchNZ, the Lyttelton Information Centre and independent tour operators to plan the most effective logistics around the cruise berth.

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Tue 14 Jan

Cruise Berth piling to be completed in March 2020

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Piling work for New Zealand’s first purpose-built cruise berth is now on the home stretch, with all piling expected to be completed in March.

LPC Infrastructure Manager Mike Simmers says after the Christmas break, contractors are back on site working to complete the berth, which is on track to be opened by November for the 2020/2021 cruise ship season.

“All main wharf piling was finished before Christmas, and there is about 4-6 days of marine piling to go and a few weeks of land-based piling work to complete. All of this piling will continue intermittently and be completed in March.”

To keep an eye on the weekly piling schedule in 2020, click here. The daily piling schedule can be found on the homepage of Harbourwatch.

Our Marine Mammal Management Plan

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At Lyttelton Port, we’re committed to being a responsible part of the Lyttelton Harbour marine environment, which is why we worked with some of New Zealand’s leading experts on our cruise berth Marine Mammal Management Plan (MMMP).

Our Environment and Planning Manager Kim Kelleher says before the project began in late 2018, the team worked with leading scientific experts on from Cawthron Institute, Blue Planet Marine and the Department of Conservation to develop the MMMP.

“The plan focuses on ways to minimise the potential impacts and manage the risks to Hector’s Dolphins, particularly around underwater noise.”

Since then, similar measures have been adopted at a number of other marine construction sites in New Zealand, including the America’s Cup project.

A key part of the MMMP on the cruise berth project has been the use of highly-trained marine mammal observers from Blue Planet Marine to constantly monitor a Marine Mammal Observation Zone. If mammals are seen in this zone, piling shuts down immediately.

The location and extent of the zone is based on Hector’s Dolphins sensitivity to noise, and modelled underwater noise levels caused by piling.  This modelling showed a zone of 450 metres was required for the main wharf piling at the cruise berth.

"We're incredibly proud of raising the bar in New Zealand, for the standard of ensuring marine mammals are protected on construction jobs," says Kim.

There is also a large amount of observation data on Hector’s dolphins that has been collected throughout the project, including extensive underwater acoustic data collected by Styles Group, who have been using underwater devices to monitor the sounds Hector’s dolphin’s make at eight monitoring sites in the harbour since  January 2017. Four sites also monitor the total underwater noise.

“We will be working with those experts to publish the results and findings of our extensive monitoring programme and research, which is really exciting,” says Kim.

Mon 16 Dec

Cruise berth features rock bag engineering

Over 2,000 rock bags holding over 8,000 tonnes of stone are being used in the construction of our cruise berth, the first time this effective engineering solution will be used in New Zealand.

LPC Infrastructure Manager Mike Simmers says over 1,000 rock bags have already been successfully placed underwater to provide scour protection to the seawall slope.

The large cruise vessels that will be calling at Lyttelton have substantial bow thrusters. This means they are extremely manoeuvrable but they place a significant amount of pressure on the seawall slope beneath the cruise berth.

“Initially it was determined we would need to place a significant amount of rock – and extremely large rock – as the outer layer to maintain the stability of the seawall.”

Mike says this would have been very technically challenging and require large rock pieces to be transported by truck to the construction site, which is costly and not an environmentally friendly solution.

“Then our designers recommended using rock bags, which have been used in Japan for over 20 years and in many other parts of the world.

 Rock bags have been used to provide seawall protection in Chiba, Japan, and also after major typhoon events on the Tokyo coastline.

LPC undertook due diligence on the rock bags, including commissioning scale trials at the University of New South Wales, and Mike says all results were extremely positive.

The rock bags are made from 100% recycled polyester (PET). This is very similar material to geotextile fabric, which is used in most construction and infrastructure projects, and accelerated testing confirms they have a 50-year plus lifespan with 100% of strength remaining.

“Overall, the rock bags are an effective solution for this project and can be maintained by our team long term – we’re really pleased with the results.”

A total of 2,058 recycled rock bags filled with 8,232 tonnes of rock are being used to provide scour protection to the seawall beneath the cruise berth. Pictured here are the rock bags in a live trial at LPC.
A total of 2,058 recycled rock bags filled with 8,232 tonnes of rock are being used to provide scour protection to the seawall beneath the cruise berth. Pictured here are the rock bags in a live trial at LPC.
Mon 16 Dec

Moving East: Te Awaparahi Bay reclamation update

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The first 10 hectares of the reclamation is complete, and great progress has been made on this second stage, creating an additional 6 hectares.

LPC Infrastructure Manager Mike Simmers says to date, over 795,000 tonnes of fill from our Gollans Bay quarry has been transported to the reclamation.

“Over 348,000 m³ of dredged material from the reclamation site has been removed, reducing the land settlement time significantly.”

This second stage of the reclamation project, totalling 6 hectares, is expected to be completed by January 2021. The land will then need to settle for two years before construction can begin.

We will keep you updated on progress!

To learn more about the project, click here. 

Mon 16 Dec

Cruise Berth update: Main wharf piling complete

The construction of New Zealand’s first purpose-built cruise berth has reached a major milestone, with piling for the main wharf deck now complete.

LPC Engineering Project Manager Paul Kelly says the last three piles for the wharf deck were successfully driven last week.  A total of almost 4 kilometres of piles were driven as part of this section of the project.

A small amount of both marine and land-based piling will continue in early 2020.

All operations on the site, including piling, will shut down after this Friday, December 20. Work will resume on Monday, January 6, 2020.

“In the new year there are 18 shorter piles to be installed on land that will form part of the wharf anchor structures, and we will also be driving two piles for a lines handling platform that will be installed near the Eastern mole,” says Paul.

Construction of the main wharf deck is also progressing well, with five concrete pours out of 12 completed to date.

The cruise berth project remains on track to be completed by November 2020, with over 70 bookings confirmed for this first season.

To keep an eye on the weekly piling schedule in 2020, click here. The daily piling schedule can be found on the homepage of Harbourwatch.

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Fri 13 Dec

Maintenance Dredging in Lyttelton

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You may spot the Dutch dredge Albatros working around Lyttelton Harbour, which is here as part of an 11-week maintenance dredging campaign.
The Albatros, operated by Dutch Dredging, is a trailer suction hopper dredge and carrying out dredging work in the main Lyttelton channel, along Cashin Quay and in the Inner Harbour.
The Albatros is removing the naturally accumulating sediment within those areas, ensuring the main navigation channel and the areas ships berth and manoeuvre.
LPC Engineering and Projects Manager Alistair Boyce says the dredging ensures LPC can accommodate the deep draught vessels which now frequently visit the Port since the channel was deepened last year.
 “Environmental monitoring, including turbidity monitoring of the water adjacent to the disposal ground, will be undertaken during the entire campaign to ensure that LPC’s Resource Consent requirements are complied with,” he says.
This is the first maintenance dredge campaign where the dredged material will be placed at the new offshore maintenance disposal ground beyond Godley Head.
This maintenance dredging work is part of a 10-year maintenance dredging contract with Dutch Dredging and four other New Zealand Ports, says Alistair.
“After several years in the planning for this work, it is great to get the Albatros and her crew here for her inaugural campaign in Lyttelton.”
For more information on LPC’s maintenance dredging and environmental monitoring, click here.

Last Tuesday, Before the Albatros and her crew began work in Lyttelton, LPC’s Māori Development Advisor Tahu Stirling performed a karakia onboard with the crew.
Last Tuesday, Before the Albatros and her crew began work in Lyttelton, LPC’s Māori Development Advisor Tahu Stirling performed a karakia onboard with the crew.
Fri 29 Nov

Oil Berth update November

We're making great progress to repair and strengthen LPC's oil berth.

The berth was badly damaged during the Christchurch earthquakes, and work to strengthen the berth is underway and will be completed by mid-2020.

Fulton Hogan is the contractor working onsite, and they will soon start repairs to the western bollard of the oil berth which requires some excavation and sheet piling work.

Excavation around the bollard is required to access the foundation, and sheet piles are needed to prevent groundwater flowing into the excavation.

When are we doing it? 

Repairs to the western bollard require excavation work and approximately 60 steel sheet piles to be installed from December 2. This work will take between 2-3 weeks to complete. Piling will only occur between the hours of 8.00 am and 6 pm Monday to Saturday.

How can I get more information?

If you want to know more detail about the project and how it might impact you, you can either:

  • Sign up to our port newsletter (emailed) by emailing questions@lpc.co.nz
  • Call Jared Pettersson, the Project Environmental Advisor on 328 8198

Thank you for your consideration. 

Mon 07 Oct

Oil Berth update

We’re undertaking repair and strengthening work on our oil berth, extending the longevity of this vital resource for Canterbury.

The oil berth was badly damaged during the Christchurch earthquakes. Work to strengthen the berth is underway and will be complete by mid-2020.

Some of the construction activities require the berth to be closed from October 14 to 22. To ensure the berth is reopened as soon as possible for customers fuelling the South Island, we need to work for longer hours during the week the berth is closed.

When are we doing it? 

Fulton Hogan is the contractor working onsite, and from October 14 to 22 the oil berth will be closed for repair work.

During this time construction work will occur typically between 5am and 11pm, but some 24 hours works may be needed. We are working with the Contractor to ensure, where possible, they programme the noisier activities during normal daytime working hours.

If you want to know more detail about the project and how it might impact you, you can:

  • Sign up to our port newsletter (emailed) by emailing questions@lpc.co.nz
  • Call Jared Pettersson, the Project Environmental Adviser on 328 7828

We appreciate your understanding while we continue to be the gateway for the goods that keep our region moving.

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