VIDEO: Controlled blasts shake Port Hills
Fri, 27 Jul 2012 12:21p.m.
By Kloe Palmer
Explosives are being used to stabilise parts of Christchurch’s Port Hills.
Rocks on the hills have been deemed hazardous since the February 2011 earthquake, and they're stopping the Christchurch Gondola from running.
The road just below is covered in rocks, some weighing as much as half a tonne, and has itself been closed since last February.
Martin Freeman, the man in charge of securing the cliffs above the road, says it won't be opening anytime soon.
“There's a lot of rock fall. To open the whole road up will take a lot of work.”
The land the gondola buildings sit on was declared safe last month.
Michael Esponita from Christchurch Gondola says the priority is now on clearing the dangerous rocks between the top and the bottom so it can re-open.
“The rock fall is probably the last piece of the puzzle for the Christchurch gondola, everything else is safety checked like the pods, the rope, machinery and the base station has just been rezoned green.”
The team that has been blasting rocks in the Morgan Valley for the past two weeks and has found some extra earthquake casualties.
“There's one rock up there that's covering a sheep so there was some sheep killed in the February earthquake,” says Mr Freeman.
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