Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: That CERA Rumour

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  • Jeanette King,

    Great article David. I presume (and hope) that this sort of information is in front of the necessary boffins. Hopefully also the promised remediation information is released soon, as the stress on your neighbourhood is obviously dreadful.

    Edgeware • Since Oct 2010 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    My initial three-phase reaction reading this -
    i) Oh, No!!
    ii) Que sera, sera; whatever CERA wills, will be.
    iii) Surely it's one of several options being evaluated, hence a likely basis for rumours of a decision already made, but more likely to be put forward along with some of those others for a ?brief period of vigorous consultation. If not to sink without trace prior, after intensive evaluation along the lines of yours.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 833 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Living in Dunedin the underside of my (100 yr old) house is scary - we're sitting on brick piles (piles of bricks) - to be fair we're close to being on bedrock most of the way up a hill - but when the alpine fault goes off piles of pricks turn into individual bricks .... what to do?

    In California we did earthquake remediation on every house we bought - in one case (another 100yr old house) we spent $20k, replaced large chunks of the aging foundation, bolted the house to it, added shear walls etc - we lived about 1km from the Hayward fault - supposedly where the next big one will hit. All that not to save the house, it will be a wreck, but so that we can walk away.

    In CA people will cross the road rather than walk past a brick wall or building, there's a history of people and cars being crushed, no one builds in brick, they're scared of it (just wait until the New Madrid fault next lets loose .... ).

    Like Dunedin, San Francisico has little natural flat land, what we do have is built on fill (all of South Dunedin is built on sand, dig a hole in the back yard and you can see the water, that shiny new stadium used to be a swamp/lake) - we're about as far from the Alpine fault as you can get, but not far enough

    One thing I saw being pushed after the Loma Prieata 'quake was 'liquefaction proof houses' so they could keep building in these reclaimed spaces by the Bay. The basic idea is that you build your concrete foundation like a boat - it's closed and deep enough that it will float when the surrounding ground turns liquid, add a gas connection that will safely break away and when the big one hits it's "avast me hearties!" and you're off, for a metre or two

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2152 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    I live over the river from David, about a block away, and I agree with all his points. Neighbours with new additions with deep pile foundations had some damage, but it is a lot less than standard piles. The new Pegasus Town development, on a swamp 30km north of Chch, had to compact all the soil before building; all those houses are all OK, so land remediation is definitely a feasible option.

    On a more positive note, I've heard engineers and Council staff say that the residential zone along the river is one of Christchurch's "shop windows" and its PR/image value is such that it is a high priority to save.

    And I'm darned if I want to live in Rolleston/Pegasus/Wigram - we moved to Christchurch 15 years ago and made a conscious decision to live near the city centre. That feeling is just as strong now; we want to live there with our neighbours and get the area back to a healthy state.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Gerry and Roger have your number right? And you guys are in constant communication, Yes?
    If not, Why Not?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1220 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    Congrats on putting this together. Nice, thoughtful piece.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    How much more stress can you guys take ?

    Question though, is the land remediation viable without first removing the structures (houses) and infrastructure (roads) ? Obviously it's an option in a Greenfields site, but in an already built up area ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    How nice to see your opinion as an engineer so well served by your skill as a writer. The world would be better off if more people could do both.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Butler,

    How nice to see your opinion as an engineer so well served by your skill as a writer. The world would be better off if more people could do both.

    Indeed. Although part of me regards the sheer breadth of Mr Haywood's skillset as bordering on the indecent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18888 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Although part of me regards the sheer breadth of Mr Haywood's skillset as bordering on the indecent.

    Word. Man also plays a mean dulcimer.

    And I'm darned if I want to live in Rolleston/Pegasus/Wigram

    How to piss off people who live in Pegagus: ask them how they're liking Woodend. That is where they live. I don't know how obvious it is if you're not from Chch that when people talk about moving people out to Pegasus or Rolleston, that's not actually part of Christchurch. It's like moving you to Featherston (without the hills, obviously) and pretending you're still in Wellington. It isn't going to happen because, as David says, they're not going to move the infrastructure. And frankly if you moved Dallington or Aranui to Pegasus, there'd be a very well-mannered riot.

    But yeah, there is an information vacuum, rumour's favourite thing. The stories we're hearing about our kids' school - which no-one has been allowed back in since the quake - are driving some parents to tears, and it's all speculation. (Though I'll admit I have speculated about the state of the sushi bar downstairs that no-one's had access to for three months.)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    David, it's great to have you blogging again; I wish you had happier reasons for doing so!

    I've been watching the repairs along Fifield Tce in Opawa, near where I live, and they've made a big-ass iron retaining wall along the road-edge by the river. I assume it's to stabilise the major sewer line that must go along there to the pumping station on the corner of Beckford Rd. And in my own street (perpendicular to the river) they've also been bashing enormous bits of iron into the ground where the street approaches the river. I'm reassured to see such heavy-duty road repairs being made!

    I LOVE the Heathcote river, and the old houses and gardens along it, and like you I can't believe the land along the riverbanks would be abandoned, except perhaps in Bexley, which was always marginal for building on.

    Thanks for your sane and reasoned comments. And I hope you and your family are managing all right.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I don't know how obvious it is if you're not from Chch that when people talk about moving people out to Pegasus or Rolleston, that's not actually part of Christchurch.

    Plus, Rolleston? Basically a massive subdivision. It's like saying 'here, let's take you out of your charming, lovingly-restored, heritage home, in the middle of a lovely wooded suburb, close to the city, with good access to _everything_, and move you to a brand new house in subdivision hell, 40 minutes from town including about 10 minutes on the open road'. Um, yeah, no.

    Part of me regards the sheer breadth of Mr Haywood’s skillset as bordering on the indecent.

    It's really not fair for that much talent to be embodied in one person. He must be bad at _something_.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    part of me regards the sheer breadth of Mr Haywood's skillset as bordering on the indecent.

    Great jacket quote (or job reference)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16667 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Nice one David
    i have always thought it maddness that Christchurch was mostly built on a swampy fertile land while just a little south you have stoney, stable areas
    My call would be to encourage you all to drift south by making sure the infrastucture is there
    And if you don't want too, next time it shakes tough luck

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 542 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    just a little south you have stoney, stable areas

    If only it were that simple – Banks Peninsula is rocky, and some of our hill suburbs have suffered very severe damage. If you take a drive up Cannon Hill or Mt Pleasant you see that building on a rock doesn’t mean you’re safe.

    ETA it's a widely-held misconception that Chch is built on a former swamp. In fact most of the Chch area is alluvial floodplain, very little of our land is reclaimed.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    This ECan leaflet on the liquefaction potentials across Chch (compiled before September last year!) makes interesting reading; you can see if you study the charts how liquefaction potential varies depending on the height of the groundwater at the time of the quake, which varies seasonally and also with weather conditions. They also discuss methods of construction used in particularly-vulnerable areas. I’m sure we’re all glad they vibro-compacted the land around the Bromley treatment plant!


    [BTW does anyone else think “vibro-rolling” sounds like something other than ground repair??]

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Jen Hay, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    it's really not fair for that much talent to be embodied in one person. He must be bad at _something_.

    Getting enough sleep, taking compliments, identifying nouns, and filling out forms.

    I think that's about it.
    He'll be talking on nine to noon about this at 11.45am.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    they vibro-compacted the land around the Bromley treatment plant

    With one of these?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16667 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Meanwhile, over in the States, they keep debating whether to build their houses further inland due to the Mississippi River constantly flooding.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4305 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    My call would be to encourage you all to drift south by making sure the infrastucture is there
    And if you don't want too, next time it shakes tough luck

    What Lilith said re: the basic geography fail. Chch can "drift" south about as easily as it can drift east.

    But also, yes, this is exactly what we need right now. People saying "do incredibly simple (actually quite difficult and wrong-headed) thing or next time there's an earthquake and your son gets crushed to death in a bus, it's your own fucking fault for being so stupid."

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    A skillset of indecent breadth... now there's a thing to conjure with.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2965 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Jen Hay,

    He'll be talking on nine to noon about this at 11.45am.

    Wow, and he's a fast talker, too! He could be a racing commentator if he wanted. ;-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    A skillset of indecent breadth... now there's a thing to conjure with.

    "Never mind the quality, feel the breadth"?

    /coat

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    they vibro-compacted the land around the Bromley treatment plant

    With one of these?

    Heh, something else we have to thank our local musos for! :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Lilith __,

    Wow, and he's a fast talker, too!

    Fast, and smooth.

    (Sorry, I will stop now.)

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

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