Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lanes Above Redcliffs, Post June 13 Quake

02.08.11. Seven weeks post June 13 quake, I drove to McCormacks Bay via the quake scabby causeway & up Balmoral Hill via Glenstrae Rd. Post quakes, I wanted to see what happened to hillside houses in lanes above Redcliffs, namely: Glendevere Tce, Dunkeld Ln, Redcliffs View Ln, Defender Ln & Challenger Ln, the last a circular walk / drive.

Due to "upmarket" housing developments over the years, it was impossible to drive those hill lanes in sequence, as most lanes were no exit & partly housed Challenger Ln was lower on the hillside, only approachable from Redcliffs Main Rd via Egnot Hgts. Higher & lower lanes were connected by 150+ Mary Gregg Steps. Many houses were red stickered. There were other steep hillside & hilltop lanes, but those were enough sunny horrors for one day.

I parked my car near the top of Glenstrae Rd, with snowy Alpine views beyond Canterbury Plains. On Balmoral Hill where I stood, sky was clear blue, but Christchurch below gasped in smog, caused by temperature inversion & winter fires. Quake cracked housing & roads I saw that day were on slippery slopes. Could CERA & Council see that?

Images, quake damaged Glenstrae Rd:


02.08.11. Glenstrae Rd view of smoggy Christchurch on Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps beyond. Avon-Heathcote Estuary below, post June 13 quake


So much for EQC's scheme to replace quake damaged chimneys & fireplaces with new heating units. EQC could blame smog on liquefaction silt dust. EQC had boasted in The Press 30.07.11: "Installed and ordered more than 25 000 heating units under the winter heating programme to the most vulnerable homes in Christchurch." Vague.


02.08.11. Quake damaged, boarded, tarped house, cnr Glenstrae Rd / Glendevere Tce, post June 13 quake



Images, quake damaged Dunkeld Ln & Glendevere Tce:

02.08.11. Quake damaged, boarded house, Dunkeld Ln, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Quake damaged house, Glendevere Tce, post June 13 quake. C meant Clear no bodies, USAR / TF graffito


02.08.11. C meant Clear no bodies, USAR / TF, quake damaged house, Glendevere Tce, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Glendevere Tce view of Redcliffs suburb, Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Southshore Spit, quake collapsed Shag Rock, Pacific, Clifton, Moncks Bay, post June 13 quake

Above Redcliffs, parallel Glendevere Tce & Dunkeld Ln showed quake damages: cracked roads & pavements; broken retaining walls; blue water pipes exposed on roadsides; broken, boarded houses; roadside portaloos; black, polyethylene, sewage pipe roadside & a pile of waste carpets by Balmoral Hill Reserve... There was little liquefaction mud on the heights, but many cracks.


02.08.11. Quake damaged, retaining walls, odd numbered Glendevere Tce houses, post June 13 quake





02.08.11. Quake cracked house, Glendevere Tce, post June 13 quake



02.08.11. Quake damaged carpets, Balmoral Hill Reserve, Glendevere Tce, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Quake damaged Glendevere Tce, post June 13 quake

Even numbered, abandoned houses on Glendevere Tce teetered on top of Redcliffs, awaiting house fall by the next quake. Most were red stickered, but CERA geotech stooges would take months to map the cliff top as red zone.


02.08.11. Quake trashed, even numbered, Glendevere Tce house, Redcliffs edge, post June 13 quake




02.08.11. Quake damaged Glendevere Tce, Redcliffs edge, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Quake damaged, even numbered house, Redcliffs edge, post June 13 quake



02.08.11. C meant Clear no bodies, USAR / TF, quake damaged house, Glendevere Tce, post June 13 quake


Odd numbered houses across Glendevere Tce were on the edge too, mostly behind broken retaining walls. I expected those homes would be green zoned, liveable, but how long would CERA take?


02.08.11. Glendevere Tce view of Redcliffs suburb, Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Southshore Spit, quake collapsed Shag Rock, Pacific, Clifton, Moncks Bay, post June 13 quake


All was quiet. Few cars, few people. Some houses were empty, rubbish in gardens, household items & furniture strewn in rooms. Lovely hillside houses with spectacular views of Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Southshore Spit, Moncks Bay & serial, quake collapsed Shag Rock, Pacific. Hillside lanes above Redcliffs were shaken to hell.


02.08.11. Bench plaque, Dunkeld Ln, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Portaloo, Dunkeld Ln, post June 13 quake


02.08.11 Quake broken garden wall, Dunkeld Ln, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Dunkeld Ln view of quake damaged Glendevere Tce house. C meant Clear no bodies, USAR / TF, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. USAR / TF graffito, Glendevere Tce pavement, post June 13 quake

I wandered down steep Redcliffs View Ln, a rocky road cutting. Same story: quake broken houses with spectacular views; fallen garden wall; cracks in rock cutting; danger-taped decking on a steep slope; cracked road; few cars; few people.

Images, Glenstrae Rd & Redcliffs View Ln:


02.08.11. Quake trashed garden wall, cnr Glenstrae Rd / Redcliffs View Ln, post June 13 quake



02.08.11. Quake damaged housing, Redcliffs view, Redcliffs View Ln, post June 13 quake



I wandered down Mary Gregg Steps, shaky houses both sides, more than 150 concrete steps to Defender Ln, no exit lane. A picture window was popped off an unstable, wood-braced wall at lane's end.

Images, quake damaged Mary Clegg Steps & Defender Ln:


02.08.11. Mary Gregg Steps, Redcliffs View Ln, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Mary Gregg Steps, quake damaged housing between Redcliffs View Ln & Defender Ln, post June 13 quake




02.08.11. Redcliffs cliff top, quake damaged, boarded house, seen from Defender Ln, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Quake damaged house, Defender Ln, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Defender Ln view of Redcliffs, Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Southshore Spit, Pacific, quake collapsed Shag Rock, Clifton, Moncks Bay, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Quake damaged housing, Defender Ln, post June 13 quake








02.08.11. Quake damaged housing, cnr Defender Ln / Challenger Ln, post June 13 quake


Challenger Ln below, where quake damaged housing was bad: broken housing; cracked walls; scattered rubble; loose roof tiles; conked roofs; warped garage doors, fallen garden wall; fallen retaining wall; cracked road. A sign on Challenger Ln pole read:

REDUCE
SPEED

Images, quake damaged Challenger Ln:


02.08.11. Quake damaged house, Challenger Ln, post June 13 quake



All the lanes I walked had red, C lettering painted on walls or pavements, showing USAR / TF teams had checked houses were clear of live or dead bodies post quakes. Some houses were red stickered. Blue, plastic, water pipes lined lanes. Someone had pink spray-painted LEAKS!! on a pavement.


02.08.11. Wanderer's toes, Challenger Ln, post June 13 quake


02.08.11. Quake damaged housing, Challenger Ln, post June 13 quake







Along Challenger Ln, I coolpixed quake damaged houses below: shattered bricks peeled off a new house; brick wall peeled off an older house; roof tiles shaken off houses; house walls boarded; two orange, Hi Vis vested inspectors, with clipboards, stiffened their spines on a house deck, when they saw me coolpixing from above.


02.08.11. Quake damaged housing & bldg inspectors, Challenger Ln, post June 13 quake



They didn't know my Nikon's, liquid-crystal display was kaput. They scarpered to another quake ravaged house, not easily seen. I'd would return another day to complete my Challenger Ln pics. The digital Nikon had lasted me only 2.5 years.


04.08.11. Quake damaged house, Challenger Ln, post June 13 quake




I returned to my car up 150+ Mary Gregg Steps, heart pounding. A bloke trotted past panting, "I'm going up & down ten times."

I drove to Redcliffs Main Rd via Moncks Spur Rd. June 13 quake had caused more rockfalls, on Feb 22 quake rockfalls, massive rock fans below Redcliffs. On Main Rd I passed the New World supermarket demolition site. The supermarket would be rebuilt.

I drove up Egnot Hts past a quake collapsed, concrete, retaining wall & drove Challenger Ln I'd walked. I drove to Main Rd again past a house demolition site near Redcliffs School.

Images, quake damaged Egnot Hts:


04.08.11. Quake collapsed retaining wall, Egnot Hts, post June 13 quake


Last time I'd passed, soon post Feb 22 quake, Redcliffs School had reopened after a quake closure, shipping containers protecting the school from more rock falls. This time on a closed, school gate a sign read:

REDCLIFFS
SCHOOL
IS TEMPORARILY LOCATED AT
SUMNER
SCHOOL

Another sign read:

SCHOOL
CLOSED
DO NOT
ENTER

Images, quake damaged Redcliffs, Main Rd:


04.08.11. Quake closed Redcliffs School & quake damaged Redcliffs, cliff top houses, Main Rd, post June 13 quake


Post June 13 quake & rock fall dangers, Redcliffs School relocated to Sumner School for a couple of months, before relocating to Van Asch Deaf Education Centre, Sumner. Deaf pupils had moved on from their big grounds.

2015. Redcliffs School was still at Van Asch & MOE minister Parata refused to reopen Redcliffs School, despite locals considering Redcliffs School safe.

Like Redcliffs School, several schools were badly affected by quakes & combined with other schools for a couple of years. In 2012, the MOE exacerbated matters with its botched plan for closures & mergers of several Christchurch schools.

MOE didn't bother to consult school staffs & communities properly & tried its closure / merger coercion without even using census figures, as the 2011 census was postponed due to quakes. So MOE predictions about school numbers post quakes was bureaucratic guesswork. MOE hadn't a clue about population shifts in Christchurch & surrounding towns during quakes. A fiasco!


04.08.11. Main Rd view of Redcliffs quake damaged, cliff top houses, post June 13 quake


In 1995, after our emigration from SA, our sons had started school at Sumner, where we'd rented a house at Denman St. Driving on Main Road, I could see Glendevere Tce, teetering on top of Redcliffs, quake-broken houses awaiting falls or demolitions.


04.08.11. Quake damaged Redcliffs housing, Main Rd, post June 13 quake


04.08.11. Shipping containers (covering Moa Bone Point Cave) protecting traffic against Redcliffs rock fall & house fall, Main Rd, post June 13 quake. The house was demolished


Moncks Cave was fence cordoned, still used as a quake rubble dump near New World demolition site. By Moa Bone Point Cave, a double storey row of shipping containers protected traffic from Redcliffs rock falls & house falls. The house above the cave was later demolished. Opposite the cave was another empty demolition site.


04.08.11. Quake collapsed house wall, Main Rd, post June 13 quake

When I checked CERA's Landcheck website, Redcliffs hillside roads I'd walked were all white zone, "hillside suburb mapping still underway," leaving all those quake ravaged houses & families in limbo, 11 months post Sept 4 quake & 5+ months post Feb 22 quake.

A week later, Mon 08.08.11, The Press featured a steep walk up Redcliffs including Egnot Hts, Challenger Ln, Glenstrae Rd, Glendevere Tce, Balmoral Reserve. Lazy journalists got ideas from bloggers. It wasn't the first time I'd experienced the relationship. Bloggers led, journalists followed.

11.08.11. The Press front page headline: "Rock fall risk means 150 Port Hills homes likely to be abandoned" & reported a couple of so-called experts pontificating on rock fall risks. Pity their gobs were tightly closed before cliff top houses were built.

12.08.11. Near Leah's Jean Seabrook Memorial School, the Feb 22 quake damaged & June 13 quake trashed section of Richmond Working Mens Club, London St, was part demolished over the last week.

Leah said whenever a digger bashed or a dump truck rumbled by, the whole school shook, leaving staff & kids anxious. Noisy demolition vibes felt like quake aftershocks, the last thing worried staff & kids needed after surviving 2 major shakings, joltings & liquefactions of the school during those quakes.

It took more than 5 months for the Club & demolishers to act. Meanwhile, London St was in a bad state of repair, pot holed & bumpy. A fence cordon by the Club obstructed busy traffic at Stanmore Rd corner.

Sun 13.08.11. I helped Jake relocate again, fourth move in 6 months post Feb 22 quake. Nice 2 bed room flat, Geraldine St, near the CBD. Liquefaction mud was still in places post June 13 quake & roads were still badly damaged, like nearby Packe St & Purchas St, where manholes were raised by quakes.

Eight sucker trucks were parked on Geraldine St, awaiting sewage sucking the next week, ongoing. One sucker truck's registration: SLURP. Holed up in motels for the weekend, sucker truck operators slurped a fortune out of sewers clogged with liquefaction mud & shit, dumped at Burwood Dump.

Trouble with post quake contractors: There were many heavy duty vehicles on Christchurch roads, taking up parking space, obstructing traffic, causing wear & tear on already quake damaged roads. Due to infrastructure renewals, excavations, road patching & heavy vehicles, the next few years would see Christchurch roads degrading, not improving. 

That night it started snowing again & continued snowing intermittently for 2 days, NZ polar blasted.

Christchurch Council's Draft Central City Plan for the revamped CBD was released over the past week. Snag: the Plan had loads of waffle, pretty pictures, maps & drawings, but little on the fact Christchurch CBD was trashed by a series of quakes, with draft planning to rebuild on quake ravaged swamp land, shaken & liquefactioned to hell. Nice idea Avon River Park, but minimal, not extending to Avon-Heathcote Estuary.

When will those councillors, planners, architects, engineers ever learn? Not a peep from geotech advisors. Western areas of Christchurch had proven less quake dangerous, less swampy, where a safer, durable CBD could be built.

Council's Draft Plan presumed acceptance by Christchurch citizens, who were never allowed to see CBD quake damage for themselves, before it was demolished & sanitized, destroying evidence of previous poor planning & building. The Plan was released while the CBD was still NZDF cordoned & CERA occupied, 6 months post Feb 22 quake & nearly a year post Sept 4 quake. National's dictatorship of the South Seas, made Fiji look like tiddlywinks.

Council's Draft Plan for Christchurch CBD would be useless, as it was soon swallowed whole by CERA's hurried Blueprint for Christchurch CBD, concocted over 100 days. CERA's Blueprint would prove to be a mess. CERA's meddling in Council affairs would continue for 5 years.

Coda: Sun 14.02.16. Valentine Day, 5.7 mag quake. Rock falls at Godley Head & Sumner's Richmond Hill & Peacocks Gallop.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Cliff top properties judged risk to life (The Press / Stuff Co).


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