Monday, January 9, 2012

Red Zone Roads, New Brighton Quake Mud

Mon 09.01.12. Post 23.12.11 quake swarm, New Brighton Rd was still quake trashed all the way. I'd driven New Brighton Rd a few hours post 04.09.10 quake, dodging quake cracks, buckling, liquefaction mud & flooding. It had deteriorated ever since, despite Council's attempted repairs.

09.01.12. I drove along New Brighton Rd, trashed from beginning to end, past The Palms mall, over quake lumps & bumps, past quake-sinking Locksley Ave corner, where the lumpy, patched road had sunk below Avon River level, past quake-slipping Avondale Rd Bridge, past quake-junked Anzac Dr Bridge & all its associated swamp & river wreckage, past quake-cracked Wainoni Rd Bridge, to quake-broken Pages Rd Bridge.

I wanted to walk a red zone, upriver section of New Brighton Rd, from Baker St to Barkers Ln, near Anzac Dr Bridge. Near Barkers Ln, I would wander Waygreen Ave, red zone wasteland, then explore, red zone, liquefaction hell along Atlantis St & bits of red zone Chimera Cres to Travis Rd by QE11 Park, then return to New Brighton Rd, via the liquefactioned, waterway track, parallel to Anzac Dr, between Travis Wetland & Avon River.

CERA Landcheck website, land status of New Brighton roads I wandered:

New Brighton Rd: 249 properties, 247 red zone, 2 green zone.
Waygreen Ave: 37 properties, all red zone.
Atlantis St: 54 properties, 48 red zone, 6 green zone.
Pennyburn Pl: 14 properties, all red zone.
Chimera Cres: 46 properties, 45 red zone, 1 green zone.

Chimera described those red zone roads & houses well. It was wishful thinking that some could ever be repaired, as all the houses had been built on swampland, which had sunk in the quakes.

Gotta wonder at the stupidity of geotech engineers Tonkin & Taylor zoning 2% green zone in that red zone swamp? If any of those green zoners stayed, they'd end up driving on dusty, shingle roads, living in dusty houses, using long drops, generators & water cisterns. What was the point of Council maintaining infrastructure for so few green zone houses?

Saving a few green zoners gave a semblance of city en route to New Brighton & Southshore. Those seaside suburbs still needed decent roads & infrastructure.

Images, quake damaged New Brighton Rd:


09.01.12. Flowers, cnr Baker St / New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Red zone house, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Serial quake damage, New Brighton Rd, nr Baker St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm




09.01.12. Red zone house, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm




09.01.12. Serial quake trashed Orion substation, cnr Palmers Rd / New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm. The substation was demolished


09.01.12. Liquefaction boil, 23.12.11 quake swarm, cnr Palmers Rd / New Brighton Rd


09.01.12. Cnr New Brighton Rd / Palmers Rd, by Avon River stop bank, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Red zone house, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm





I parked my car on Baker St & wandered along New Brighton Rd, past Palmers Rd, to Bower Ave, snapping abandoned houses en route, most gardens overgrown. I passed a quake-trashed Orion substation & an abandoned veterinary clinic. High summer flowers grew in some overgrown gardens: lilies, roses, poppies, hydrangeas, agapanthus, rhododendrons...


09.01.12. Red zone house, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm











Along the way, I chatted to a grizzled old man. We agreed that town clerk Marryatt's recent  $68 000 pay rise was "a bloody insult" to red zoners, while Marryatt practised his golf swing at ratepayers' expense.


09.01.12. Plastic sewage tank & Council election board, cnr New Brighton Rd / Bower Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



09.01.12. Red zone house, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



09.01.12. Avon River stop bank & swamp, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Red zone house, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm









09.01.12. Serial quake trashed Orion substation, cnr New Brighton Rd / Palmers Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm. The substation was demolished



New Brighton Rd, downriver to Baker St: That sunny afternoon, I returned to my car along Avon River stop bank, snapping abandoned, red zone houses, overgrown gardens, the quake-trashed Orion substation & veterinary clinic & views of riverside swamp filled with raupo & flax. Beyond were distant Port Hills.


09.01.12. Flax & raupo swamp, Avon River, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm. Port Hills backdrop


09.01.12. Dried liquefaction boils, Avon River stop bank, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm




09.01.12. Serial quake damaged drain, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm

From Baker St, I drove past Bower Ave & Wainoni Rd crossings & parked by Wattle Dr, which I'd wander another day. There were more red zone houses, with overgrown gardens on New Brighton Rd.


09.01.12. Red zone house, New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm









Waygreen Ave was a muddy mess, abandoned red zone housing, overgrown gardens. Liquefaction mud everywhere, mud piles roadside, flooding roadside. Slimy pools of stagnant water by quake trashed houses. Muddy carpets dumped in gardens.

Images, quake damaged Waygreen Ave:


09.01.12. Quake flooding, cnr New Brighton Rd / Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Liquefactioned house, cnr New Brighton Rd / Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Red zone house, cnr New Brighton Rd / Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Flooded & liquefactioned red zone, Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Red zone house, Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



I followed road flooding from New Brighton Rd a short way up Waygreen Ave, to a cracked driveway, where a burst water pipe flooded the muddy street. Council had water restrictions while allowing that water wastage.


09.01.12. Quake burst water pipe, flooded driveway, red zone Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


I thought after 16 months of quakes I'd seen it all. I was shocked at the disgusting state of Waygreen Ave, neglected by CERA & Council. Although it was a bright sunny day, I was also spooked by the abandoned, liquefactioned houses.


09.01.12. Red zone house, Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm









Student Volunteer Army diggers, Farmy Army diggers & contractors had done nothing about clearing Waygreen Ave. Novelty & media hype about volunteer mud digging, quake after quake, had worn thin. Last time I'd seen student diggers was months ago in Halswell.


09.01.12. Red zone house, Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm









A blonde woman drove up to her quake-damaged home & tried talking to me. I told her I was deaf. Exasperated, she flapped her hand & left.


09.01.12. Southern view along liquefactioned, red zone, Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



09.01.12. Red zone house, Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm









Marryatt's & mayor Parker's lack of "resilience" showed, as red zone housing & roads, still under their Council control, were left to ruin. Why were Council & CERA doing nothing about saving those abandoned, red zone houses? The land was destroyed by liquefaction, reverting to swampland, but many abandoned Waygreen Ave houses looked OK to me.


09.01.12. Red zone house, Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm






I bet the owners of all those abandoned, red zone homes still paid mortgages, rates & increased costs of relocations & rentals. As well as negotiating with NZ govt / CERA & /or insurers for pay outs.


09.01.12. Red zone house, Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm









Images, quake damaged Atlantis St:

09.01.12. Liquefactioned pavement, cnr Waygreen Ave / Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


Never mind seismologist Berryman, at a Hagley Park, closed video, information session for the privileged few, insulting quake survivors with his historical quake drivel, so wise post quakes, with silly map & graph & blaming quake survivors about losing confidence.

Berryman was misinformed & projected his lack of confidence on citizens, as his so-called science was way behind survivors' quake experiences. Berryman wrongly guessed the 5 mag quake, which shook his privileged chat to mayor Parker, CERA minister Brownlee, et al. Leah's primary school kids were better at guesstimating quake mags than seismologist Berryman!

I wandered Atlantis St, sinking into liquefaction mud, some mud cleared. Many houses were abandoned, gardens overgrown.


09.01.12. View along liquefactioned, red zone, Atlantis St to Wattle Dr junction, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Liquefactioned, red zone, Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm






09.01.12. Plastic, sewage tank, red zone, Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Locked gate, Kate Sheppard Retirement Village, Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm

By a green, plastic sewage tank, Kate Sheppard Retirement Village gate was chained closed & locked. Every gate around the complex I passed was chained & locked. Kate Sheppard Retirement Village was liquefactioned hell, all houses abandoned, gardens overgrown.

In 2014, Luke did salvage work at Kate Sheppard Retirement Village. By the time he'd finished, there was nothing left of the village.


09.01.12. Red zone, Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


A hand drawn 10 km / hour, speed limit sign stood on top of a pile of liquefaction mud on Atlantis St. Those hand drawn, slow down signs were symbolic of the slow down rebuild by Council & CERA & slow down in pay outs by EQC & insurers. It would be years before EQC & insurers completed pay outs, repairs & rebuilds for 1 000s of quake claimants.





I passed red zone, Pennyburn Pl, liquefaction muddied, houses abandoned, gardens overgrown. A sewage stink seeped from muddy road damage at the end of Pennyburn Pl.


09.01.12. Red zone, cnr Atlantis St / Pennyburn Pl, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



Atlantis St: A team of orange, Hi Vis vested contractors, with spades & mechanical diggers, fixed a smelly, muddy drain. Freshly graded mud stank of crap. A gloomy, little boy looked on from a muddy driveway.


09.01.12. Red zone, Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm




09.01.12. Red zone, cnr Atlantis St / Chimera Cres, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Contractors fixing a drain, red zone, Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm








Atlantis St was more inhabited than Waygreen Ave, some cars were parked in driveways. Muddy carpets were dumped in gardens.


09.01.12. Liquefactioned carpets in overgrown garden, red zone, Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm




09.01.12. Red zone house, Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


Along the way I passed Chimera Cres, just as badly liquefactioned. Houses abandoned, gardens overgrown.

Images, quake damaged Chimera Cres:


09.01.12. Cnr Chimera Cres / Atlantis St, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Liquefactioned, red zone housing, Chimera Cres, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Contractor truck, cnr Atlantis St / Chimera Cres, post 23.12.11 quake swarm

Travis Dr: I wandered to Anzac Dr, past the end of QE11 Park.


09.01.12. Road signs, Travis Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm

Waterway between Chimera Cres / Barkers Ln & Anzac Dr: I wandered back to New Brighton Rd on the waterway track, water birds in the recently dredged waterway, piles of mud on Anzac Dr bank & liquefaction mud boils on walkway grass.


09.01.12. Liquefactioned waterway track, between Chimera Cres & Anzac Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Dried liquefaction boil, waterway track, Chimera Cres, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Hebe, waterway track, Chimera Cres, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Liquefactioned, red zone housing, Chimera Cres, seen from waterway track, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Liquefationed waterway track, between Chimera Cres & Anzac Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Liquefactioned house, Chimera Cres, seen from waterway track, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



I passed liquefactioned houses, obscured by shrubbery, white hebe flowers blooming, by the waterway. At one point, I returned to Chimera Cres to look at liquefactioned houses & a fence-to-fence liquefactioned, kids' playground. Playground equipment was abandoned. No kids played. Just dust & massive, dried, mud boils. At that point I spat dust, when the wind blew, or vehicles passed on the dusty road.


09.01.12. Liquefactioned kids' playground & housing, Chimera Cres, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


Those who continued living in the red zone & nearby green zone, lived in a dust bowl, respiratory ailments pending.


09.01.12. Liquefactioned, red zone, Chimera Cres, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


Over a creek, I crossed a wooden footbridge, sliced in half by a quake. Bridge bits had moved more than a foot sideways.


09.01.12. Quake trashed footbridge over waterway creek, Chimera Cres, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



09.01.12. Waterfowl in waterway, between Barkers Ln & Anzac Dr, post 23.12.11 quake swarm. Port Hills backdrop

Barkers Ln, main entrance to Kate Sheppard Retirement Village: Locked gates, fence cordoned, abandoned houses, overgrown gardens, liquefaction mud everywhere. Concrete poles & quake trashed carpet heaps blocked the lane end. Slimy flood water lay on New Brighton Rd.

Images, quake damaged Barkers Ln:


09.01.12. Fletcher Construction sign on fence, red zone, Kate Sheppard Retirement Village, Barkers Ln. The village was serial quake trashed, 2010-2011


09.01.12. Feb 22 quake trashed, red zone, Kate Sheppard Retirement Village, Barkers Ln, post 23.12.11 quake swarm








A wooden jetty off muddy Barkers Ln went into the waterway. Water fowl, including Canada geese, paddled by, better adapted to quakes than humans. A blue & white sign on the jetty said it all for red zone, Christchurch mud holes, dust bowls, rivers, waterways & swamps:

         !
POLLUTED
   WATER
PLEASE AVOID
  CONTACT

Those signs were ubiquitous since the quakes.


09.01.12. POLLUTED WATER sign, waterway jetty, Barkers Ln, post 23.12.11 quake swarm


09.01.12. Feb 22 quake trashed housing, red zone, Kate Sheppard Retirement Village, Barkers Ln, post 23.12.11 quake swarm








09.01.12. Liquefaction flooded gate posts, red zone, Kate Sheppard Retirement Village, cnr Barkers Ln / New Brighton Rd, post 23.12.11 quake swarm

New Brighton Rd, near Anzac Dr: More abandoned, red zone houses & overgrown gardens.


09.01.12. Red zone, quake trashed pavement & housing, New Brighton Rd, between Barkers Ln & Waygreen Ave, post 23.12.11 quake swarm



Wed 11.01.12. Mayor Parker on TV said it was his Council's "duty of care" to kick out The Press columnist Joe Bennet from his Lyttelton home, due to quake rock fall danger, despite Bennet's contention that no big rocks had fallen on his home in the last 10 000 quakes, just one little rock in his garden.

Pity Parker & his Council hadn't shown a "duty of care" post 04.09.10 & Boxing Day quakes, ensuring safety of lethal CBD bldgs. Parker & his complacent Council had 5 months to do so before the deadly Feb 22 quake killed 185 people.

Mayor Parker was thrilled that Lonely Planet guide touted Christchurch "exciting," despite quakes. Parker said tourists may like an aftershock to remember. Tell that to red zoners & the families of the Feb 22 quake dead Parker!

Thurs 12.01.12, 8.56 pm, mag 4.6 quake, depth 15 km, 20 km NE of Lyttelton (Geonet). Rumbled by & shook our Burnside home. How would mayor Parker sell such noxious aftershocks to tourists?

Sat 14.01.12. I drove red zone roads I'd walked 6 days ago. Council (or contractor?) had cleaned roads a bit, removing silt piles. Tons of silt stayed on muddy pavements & in gardens. Gritty silt, flew in the gusty wind. Ghost houses haunted the dust bowl. Waygreen Ave water leak was gone.

I'd witnessed the death throes of those roads, which would soon revert to swampland.

Coda: By Nov 2013, most of the red zone houses were demolished by CERA.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Chch one of NZ's 'most exciting cities' (The Press / Stuff Co).


See Marryatt: L'Oreal man 'Cause 'he's worth it' (The Press / Stuff Co).

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