Chch Port, Tunnel, Rail Update


While our thoughts are focused personally on those still trapped, missing and all Canterbury folk suffering, here’s an update on transport links damage and the overnight update from the Police.

NZTA says a severely damaged Lyttelton Tunnel canopy must be demolished.

Lyttelton Port itself was damaged and has sustained further damage from aftershocks and remains closed.

PM inspects Lyttelton

Lyttelton Tunnel remains closed to private motor vehicles until further notice.

NZTA’s Networks Operations Manager for Canterbury Pete Connors says the agency is  arranging for the specialist staff and machinery required to safely carry out the demolition work. Removal of the canopy is expected to begin tomorrow and be completed within 48 hours.

Mr Connors says that while the tunnel itself has been inspected and remains structurally sound, the canopy and the tunnel control building have both been severely damaged.

“In its present state the canopy is a significant safety hazard. There are also risks from ongoing rockfalls on the tunnel approaches, and we’re working now to retrofit containment devices to catch any falling rocks,” Mr Connors said.

The tunnel was re-opened for use by emergency vehicles at 6:30pm last night. While detours on local roads are available for private vehicle access in and out of Lyttelton, the NZTA is asking motorists to avoid all non-essential travel in order to keep roads as clear as possible for emergency services.

The Lyttelton tunnel was closed immediately following yesterday’s earthquake, as rockfalls caused significant damage to the tunnel canopy and to the tunnel control building. The NZTA says its immediate priority has been to re-establish the tunnel as a route for emergency services in and out of Lyttelton.

A sign of how cracked roads are |@ @ThomasMeadia

A section of SH74 is closed from the ANZAC Bridge through to Bridge Street. While the bridge is structurally sound, the approaches on either side are affected by liquefaction and surface flooding. The Chaney’s on-ramp on the Northern Motorway is also closed, but is likely to re-open soon.

Whole driveways cracked open and blocked by liquifaction|@TomTomPrince

All state highways and bridge structures in and around the city were inspected overnight, and while some have sustained minor damage all of the bridge structures are safe, and all other state highways in the region are open.

NZTA says the earthquake does not appear to have had any impact on state highways on the West Coast or the Otago and Southland regions.

There has been significant damage to local roads and bridges in the city, as well as liquefaction and surface flooding.

Road damage |#Mrs Gooding

Assessments of bridges and other structures on the state highway network will continue.

Repairs on the Main North Rail Line between Rangiora and Christchurch are almost done and trains will begin moving south from Picton early tomorrow.

The rail line between Dunedin and Christchurch has been reopened, with some speed restrictions. The first rail service into Christchurch from the south is expected tonight.

The line between the West Coast and Christchurch is open and general freight services are expected to start tomorrow.

The line to Lyttelton Port is closed due to bridge damage at Heathcote.

TransAlpine and TranzCoastal services are cancelled until February 28 and should resume March 1. KiwiRail have arranged accommodation and transport for all passengers who remained in Greymouth and Picton last night. Refunds or the ability to reschedule have been offered to all passengers affected by these cancellations.

It looks like a 9/11 scene | PM's office

District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff says a key risk is the Hotel Grand Chancellor, which is unstable and appears to be moving.

There are fears that the building could collapse, possibly damaging other buildings in the process.

Police are urging people to stay well away and let emergency services get on with their job without being impeded.

Superintendent Cliff says 65 bodies are currently being held at the Christchurch Central Police Station and the Disaster Victim Identification process is currently underway.

This process is being conducted on behalf of the Coroner and is time-consuming.

“This involves reviewing results of DNA, finger prints and dental records so we can be absolutely sure of the identity of each person.

“As soon as it is humanly possible and the identification of a person is confirmed, then bodies will be released to their next of kin.

“We do understand the pain and agony that families are going through and would ask them to be patient at this time.”




  1. Chch Port, Tunnel, Rail Update - Featured - AKT…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. Ian says:

    Especially sad to see Lyttelton’s lovely old time ball station destroyed. I think only a couple remain anywhere in the world now.


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