Big enough for a fully-grown adult to run through and 372m long, work to install a new stormwater pipe on Waimea Road/Rutherford Street is underway.

Preparing our City for a future where we expect to see more people living in or close to our City Centre and increases in heavy rain events due to climate change is one of Council’s key priorities. That’s why we are also taking the opportunity to upgrade wastewater and water supply pipes at the same time.

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“In 2011, we saw first-hand the disruption caused by extreme flooding in this area, and that’s not something we want to see repeated,” says Infrastructure Committee Chair Brian McGurk. 

Part of an infrastructure budget of almost $496m in the 2021-31 Long Term Plan, this is the second stage of a project that kicked off in 2018. This part of the project extends the stormwater pipe further along Rutherford Street. 

“This is a substantially complex project that will take months to complete. We are working to minimise traffic, but I’d recommend taking an alternative route into town if you can, taking the bike, or walking.

“Police and Fulton Hogan staff have been out an about during the first week, ensuring through traffic and parents dropping kids of at Hampden Street School are all safe. Please drive slowly through the detour, look out for pedestrians and cyclists, and follow all the signage.” 

Council’s Climate Change Manager Rachel Pemberton says this work is a vital part of Nelson’s preparation for climate change.

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“We are already seeing an increased amount of heavy rain events, and we expect them to become even more common. Forward-thinking cities are investing in infrastructure improvements that will help them meet this extra demand on their water network.

“Doing this work now will put us in a good place when it comes to managing extreme weather events.”

Alongside the stormwater pipe, new wastewater and water supply pipes will cater to an expected increase in housing development in this catchment area.

“Housing is a big priority for this Council, and one of the ways in which we can create an environment where housing supply can increase, and affordability can improve, is to provide better infrastructure,” says Councillor McGurk.

“Feedback to our Long Term Plan and the latest Future Development Strategy showed how important intensification is to our community as we work to meet demand for housing in the coming years.

“More people living near our City Centre also has the benefit of increasing the amount of travel we’d expect to see people do on bike or walking, with a knock-on effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to transport.”

IMG 0619What’s happening in Phase 1?

Traffic Management has been implemented to allow closure of Waimea Road from Van Diemen Street through to Rutherford Street, and a section of Rutherford Street has been reduced to a single lane travelling south.

For traffic travelling north along Waimea Road, a detour will need to be followed around Van Diemen Street, Rutherford Street and Wellington Street. For traffic travelling south, you will continue along Rutherford Street and back onto Van Diemen Street before joining back to Waimea Road.

The two main construction crews have begun the project. Each of these crews has brought large excavators, trucks and pipe material to carry out the following work:

Rutherford Street:
Installation of a large stormwater chamber at the Examiner/Rutherford intersection, into which the stormwater pipe we are installing will connect.

Begin installation of wastewater and water pipe lines on the western side of Rutherford Street.

Waimea Road:
Installation of the stormwater pipe starting at the Rutherford Street intersection.

Water supply pipe installation on the western side of Waimea Road will also begin to take place.

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Getting a 1.8m pipe into the ground is a pretty big job!

How big you ask?

Big enough for a person – unless you happen to play for the Nelson Giants! – to stand upright. To get a sense of just how big this pipe is, check out the graphic below:
 Rutherford pipe graphicAverage Heights:
Adult man: 1.77m, Cow: 1.4m, Labrador: 62cm, Weka: 50cm long

We’re open for business!

All businesses in the area remain open for the duration of the project, so please don’t be scared of the cones or our workers – they’re there to make sure you get to your destination safely. 

Signage will be placed around the site to direct foot traffic and motorists. Parking is available along the detour route and near the road closure. 

Here’s a full list of the businesses near the work site:

  • DentalCare Nelson
  • Century Park Motor Lodge Nelson
  • The Car Company Nelson
  • Chelsea Park Motor Lodge
  • Rustic Cuisine
  • Earthbloom Flowerstore
  • Clipper & Scissors
  • Villarosa Maison*
  • Rutherford Street Kindergarten
  • Admirals Motor Inn
  • The Hotel Nelson
  • Flames on Forty
  • The Nelson Clinic
  • Tima Health
  • Titoki Medical
  • Nelson Orthodontics
  • Grant Hunt Building Consultants
  • Challenge Gourdie Automotive 

*Villarosa Maison customers should note that this business has a new address: 63 Montgomery Square (next to Benge & Co.).