Willis Street fully reopened yesterday afternoon after the successful connection of the new underground wastewater pipe in Willis Street replacing the temporary overland pipe installed after the original tunnel collapse in December.
Wellington Water Group Manager Tonia Haskell says the work was designated a Critical Project allowing it to continue during the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown to ensure the first phase was completed.
“We are very pleased to have been able to complete this first phase of the project to time,” says Ms Haskell. The crews were able to successfully connect the new underground pipe to the network main on Wednesday 25 March, helped along by the optimal weather conditions.
“Following that, on Thursday and Friday the temporary over ground pipe was decommissioned and removed. The road has now just been resealed and line markings restored, and Willis Street is now open and fully operational. We want to extend a big thankyou and commendation to the contractors and the team involved who have completed work that would normally take at least 12 months of planning in three months,"
“We also recognise that, while this work was essential, it has been a difficult time for residents and businesses in the Willis Street area and we greatly appreciate their patience throughout this period,” says Ms Haskell.
Ms Haskell says the next stage of the work will be on the old State Highway 1 slipway, to replace the remaining overland pipe from Willis Street to the interceptor.
“This has been put on hold due to the national lockdown and we will be letting the community know when this work is scheduled to recommence, though it will not be disruptive to businesses or residents.”
Meanwhile, planned work to renew the local stormwater and wastewater lines on Dixon Street from Willis Street to MacDonald Crescent has also been put on hold due to the lockdown. However, design work for the adit (tunnel) in Dixon Street will continue remotely and is due to be completed shortly after Easter.