Inspire : Inspire Winter 2016
14 UNDER THE MICROSCOPE pipe in an ear thquake-prone zone. “ T he pipe is conventional; it is the same pipe you’d put into the ground in Sydney or Melbourne,” Wother spoon says. “ The big difference is that a lot more effor t goes into the embedment of a pipe. The granular materials that you put around a pipe are compacted to quite a high degree. So you end up with a system that is resilient to lateral and ver tical movement. Within the trench it is protected to an extent, so it moves as a system.” “ There has also been a lot more lining of the pipes than historically was the case. You effectively put a plastic sock through the existing infrastructure to re-line the existing pipes in case of cracking or damage.” A TOUGH TEST OF QUALITY On Valentine’s Day this year, jus t a week before the fifth anniversary of the 2011 quake, the horizontal repairs in the city of Christchurch were given a thorough test when a 5.7 magnitude ear thquake hit (the 2011 shock was magnitude 6.3). While some coastal cliffs collapsed into the sea, the horizontal repairs that had been carried out since 2011 throughout Christchurch remained largely intact. The “big sausage factory”, as Cameron refers to SCIRT, which “assesses the assets in the ground then identifies and prioritises projects, does detailed concept design and costing then hands out a series of jobs to the construction teams” had done a fine job. “ Horizontal infrastructure is something we often take for granted,” says Jo Fitzgerald, Acting Director of Greater Christchurch Group. “ We expect to be able to travel freely around the city, turn the tap and see water flow, and we expect to be able to flush our toilets. In reality, horizontal infrastructure is a sophisticated network of pipes and systems and therefore repairs can be incredibly complex.” “ There is no doubt that having more cer tainty around infrastructure has a big impact on peoples’ sense of security. More than three quar ters of those sur veyed in the latest Wellbeing Survey by the Canterbury Ear thquake Recover y Authority repor ted a positive quality of life.” For a city that has been through what Christchurch has been through, that’s a fine outcome.
Inspire Summer 15-16