Elizabeth St pipe project on track

Published: 26 March 2024

An eight-month water pipe renewal project on Elizabeth Street, costing nearly $1 million, is on track to be complete by the end of April.

New drinking water and wastewater pipes have been laid from the corner of Philip and Grigg Streets, along Grigg Street to Elizabeth Street and then up to Oak Grove. The construction work will cross Oak Grove after Easter weekend with completion expected by 30 April.

The intersection of Elizabeth Street and Oak Grove will be closed for two weeks from Tuesday 2 April during this last stage. Detours will be in place - southbound traffic on Oak Grove will be able to turn left onto Elizabeth Street to access Ashburton Hospital, northbound traffic on Oak Grove heading to the hospital will use Philip and Walker Streets.

Group Manager Infrastructure and Open Spaces Neil McCann said the high-profile project had taken a lot of planning because the work involved digging up roads outside the hospital.

“Our contractor ACL has worked closely with the hospital, and with nearby residents and a preschool, and the work has been going smoothly since it started last September.

“We have replaced water and wastewater pipes at the same time to minimise disruption and save money, while improving Council’s pipe networks.

“A critical part of the project was making sure access to the hospital was maintained for ambulances, staff, patients and essential deliveries. We had to ensure the hospital had a continuous safe drinking water supply and that they could dispose of wastewater.”

The contracting crew say residents and children going to the preschool have got to know them well over the course of the project, and they have received hand-delivered Christmas goodies and encouraging notes.

Mr McCann said it is important on long projects to maintain communication with those affected by the work to explain how and when the work will affect them.

“Replacing ageing pipes is such important work for all those that rely on Council’s water and wastewater system but longer projects can be a real disruption to people’s daily lives and work, so we appreciate and thank everyone involved in this project.

“Good planning and communication has been key to keeping everyone safe and we all look forward to the road cones being removed at the end of April.”

The project has allowed the hospital’s drinking water network to be upgraded and a second permanent back-up water supply from Oak Grove was installed, in case of an emergency.

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