21 June 2018
Cruise ships are one step closer to returning to Lyttelton Harbour, as construction begins on Lyttelton Port Company’s (LPC) cruise berth.
The cruise berth will be located between Cashin Quay and the entrance to the Inner Harbour.
It will be the first custom-built cruise ship facility in New Zealand designed to accommodate the world’s largest cruise vessels.
Chief Executive Peter Davie says, “The cruise berth is part of LPC’s long-term plan to ensure the Port can serve the region’s future needs.
“Preparation work for the construction of the cruise berth began in early June. The next phase will see pile driving begin in early July and completed in early 2020.
“Piling will occur intermittently, Monday through to Saturday, and the noise levels will be comparable to the construction of Cashin Quay wharf in 2014/2015.
However, given the cruise berth’s proximity to residents, pile driving will be heard more widely.
“The noise level is also comparable to piling for new buildings in the Christchurch CBD.
“We understand this will be an inconvenience to local residents.
While the level of noise cannot be effectively mitigated, residents will be able to view regular updates to the planned piling times on LPC’s harbour watch website www.lpcharbourwatch.co.nz.
“We are mindful of the effect underwater noise from piling can have on dolphins.
This was a key reason for the wharf being redesigned during the past few months.
“Reducing the size of the wharf has significantly reduced underwater noise levels.
A marine piling management plan will be in place to further manage potential risks to Hector’s dolphins from the piling activities.”
Peter Davie said the original design of the cruise ship berth called for piles 1200mm in diameter, however, the company’s research revealed that the effects of noise from piles this size on Hector’s dolphin would be very difficult to manage, so LPC redesigned the wharf accordingly.
“In the new design the piles are now 900mm in diameter, which significantly reduces the pile driving noise underwater.
“The new design does not require resource consent to construct the wharf, as it is within the regulations of the Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan.
We have applied for consent to allow the larger cruise ships to berth at the wharf, and to undertake minor dredging works.
“We are excited to see the construction phase begin as it signals a significant step in the return of cruise ships to Lyttelton Harbour.”