FAQs

Here is a comprehensive set of FAQs covering off everything you need to know about the project, the pipe and the road closure including how it works, what it means for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists and parking - and much more besides.

 

About the closure

 

Where is the road being closed?

All six lanes will be closed from Whitmore Street in the north to Wakefield Street in the south.

When is the closure occurring?

From 7pm Thursday 3 June until 6am on Tuesday 8 June (including Queens Birthday weekend)

Will you still be able to access the waterfront and the parking under the TSB Arena?

Yes, you will be able to enter and exit at the traffic lights at Whitmore Street.  Pedestrian access to the waterfront will continue as normal.

What are the suggested alternative routes?

For southbound traffic it is recommended to either use Featherston Street or stay on State Highway one.  For northbound it is recommended to go along Taranaki Street and then either use the State Highway or The Terrace.   Obviously, many of these roads are already congested at peak times, therefore we are encouraging people to take alternative forms of transport or preferably avoid driving in the area’.

You are encouraging people to use alternative transport, but aren't buses replacing trains in the weekend?

We are aware that buses replace trains on the weekend and as part of the planning for the closure we did look at this. Currently KiwiRail is doing significant upgrades to the tracks and overhead cables each weekend, so buses are replacing trains most weekends. It was not possible to schedule the works for a weekend when the trains were operating.  However trains will operate as normal on Friday.

Will Emergency Vehicles be able to travel through the site?

All six lanes will be impassable for most the period, however, in the event of an emergency provision has been made to allow emergency vehicles to use the temporary service access that has been created through Frank Kitts Park for those heading North.  

Can pedestrians and cyclists use the area?

Yes, the worksite is near the rear of the TSB Arena.  All other parts of Jervois Quay are accessible to pedestrians.  There is also a temporary footpath around the worksite in Frank Kitts Park.  For cyclists we are encouraging them to use the Waterfront, however, again there is only the section around the worksite closed. 

Is there a risk of the road not being reopened on time?

Like with any construction project there is a risk of delays.  However, a lot of work is being done in advance to help ensure the work can be done efficiently over the four-day closure period.   There will also be the option to temporarily reseal and reopen the road and the work to be finished over night during the following week.

How long are the traffic delays you are expecting?

This is one of the major through roads in Wellington and with it closed traffic will be forced onto alternative routes.  It is hard to estimate the exact delays but we will be encouraging drivers to avoid driving in the area’ and where possible to use other forms of travel to get into and out of the city.

Why are the works on Queens Birthday weekend when people want to get out and about? Why not do it on a normal weekend?

The work will take four days to complete.  Queens Birthday weekend was chosen as it means only one business day is affected.  We are hoping that by people planning ahead and not needing to get to work that the peak flows will be lowered.   For many schools the Friday is also a teacher only day for many schools so may mean less traffic. 

Why are you starting the closure on Thursday night when most people will be trying to leave the city on Friday being a long weekend?

Having worked with WCC and Waka Kotahi the advice was it was better to start on Thursday rather than the work carrying on into the following week.  There are also many schools with a teacher only day on the Friday, so it is hoped that drivers will be able to vary their departure time to avoid the morning peak.  

Why not start on Friday night?

By starting on Friday night it would mean that work would need to continue into the following week affecting the morning and afternoon peaks on Tuesday.

Will I still be able to park in the CBD?

Yes, the limited amount of parking on Jervois Quay will not be accessible, but the rest of the CBD parking will be available. 

What parking has been affected in the CBD?

The only parking affected is the limited amount of parking on Jervois Quay between Whitmore and Grey Street.

If I live or work on one of the side streets off Jervois Quay will I still be able to access parking?

Yes, there will be managed access to and on all side streets - that includes Featherston, Waring Taylor, Grey, Johnston, Brandon, Panama and Hunter streets.  

Why are both northbound and southbound lanes on Jervois Quay closed at the same time? 

If the north and south bound lanes were done separately it would require work to be done over two weekend increasing the disruption. 

I’m a cyclist and I’m concerned for my safety with traffic congestion. What alternate routes are there throughout the city for cyclists to use?

There are no alternative cycling routes proposed for the weekend, however, we are encouraging cyclists to use the waterfront to get around our worksite.

How are you promoting the closure?

In the two-week lead up to the closure there will be radio, newspaper and social media advertising to inform people of the closure and encourage people to plan ahead.  There will also be prominent signage on the State Highway and other approaches to the City to make people aware of the closure prior to it starting. 

 

About the stormwater pipe

How old is this stormwater pipe?

The installation date is not available, however from old records and drawing/photographs of similar assets in the area it is likely to have been installed in the early 1900s. So this 450mm diameter earthenware pipe is approximately 100 years old.

How many kilometres of pipe of the same age and material do we have?

This is an earthenware pipe. There is approximately 34km of stormwater earthenware pipes greater than 90 years old in Wellington City area.

Is this one of the pipes that is overdue for renewal?

This stormwater pipe under Jervois Quay was planned for upgrade and a design was completed in 2016. The main reason  for this upgrade was to address the frequent flooding of the buildings around the intersection of Hunter and Customhouse Quay as well as the building at the corner of Hunter and Victoria Streets. Renewal of pipes is usually based on pipe condition. The condition wasn’t known until recently but was due for renewal within the next 10 years.

When did we last inspect this pipe?

A short 14 metre section of the pipe was inspected using CCTV in July 2019. Some gravel found in the pipe at that time was flushed.

What’s being done to identify other pipes in poor condition?

Wellington Water has received funding from Wellington City Council to undertake investigations of our most critical three waters assets. 

 

About the repair

Why replace the pipe now and not during the quiet summer break?

This aging earthenware pipe is critical to draining surface water from the central city but is vulnerable and there is the risk of further collapses. We need to replace it as soon as possible to build resilience ahead of winter storms and minimise the risk of flooding. While the road closure will mean short-term disruption, the upside is that we will be installing a much bigger pipe as the first step toward addressing flooding issues in the CBD.  We will need to replace the pipe to address its current condition and upgrade it to prevent flooding in the CBD.

Why did you not just replace the pipe at the start?

Because of the disruption to the CBD that we knew trenching across Jervois Quay would cause, we attempted to reline the pipe instead.  It was only as the pipe was excavated as part of the preparation work did it become clear just how rotten the earthenware was. 

How long would this work normally take? 

A replacement project like this would normally take about six weeks to complete, however, by using multiple crews and working 24/7 we believe it can be completed in four days