Roadwork FAQ's

To report a problem regarding streets, roadworks or issues on the transport network or to provide feedback you can:

Phone 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169 or

Fax (03) 941 8033 or

Email: or

Write to Christchurch City Council, PO Box 73010, Christchurch 8154 

Roadwork FAQ’s

Why are so many main routes closed at once? Are the works co-ordinated?

The need to undertake work on a number of key arterial routes at the same time is as a result of the need to sequence work to ensure the horizontal rebuild is completed, in order to support the rest of the Central City development. This infrastructure has to be delivered before the vertical rebuild can be completed.

The Road Controlling Authorities (NZTA and Christchurch City Council) and our partners including CERA and SCIRT continually review the locations of all roadwork sites and the impact on the network.

We are working hard to ensure we have a fully coordinated forward works programme. Extensive network modelling and traffic engineering is undertaken in order to evaluate the impacts of the roadworks.

A number of initiatives are underway to try and mitigate the impacts of the work programme and we are using multiple channels to provide road users with the most relevant and timely information that we can.

We understand that the roadworks in the central city and across Christchurch can be frustrating, and we appreciate the incredible levels of patience and tolerance displayed by the people of Christchurch.

Why don’t roadwork crews work 24/7 to get the work done quicker?

Some crews do work at night where it is safe and practical to do so. For example, CCTV footage inside pipes or brick barrel pipe lining often has to happen when the liquid level in pipes is low – when most people are in bed.

But wherever possible, night work is minimised for good reasons, including:

• Brightly-lit roadworks and noisy machinery are intrusive on the community, add to people’s stress levels and keep them awake.
• Night work is more dangerous for both road users and workers.
• Most SCIRT work involves repair of services under the road surface. This involves working in trenches, often in unstable ground, with moving plant and equipment. It is difficult to light these work spaces adequately at night to make them safe.
• The infrastructure rebuild is a five-year programme, so the health and quality of life of the  road workers is important. Just like all of us, they need to get home and see their family and friends each night.

When will the rebuild be completed?

The horizontal infrastructure rebuild is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The work programme has been prioritised over five years with funding allocated based on the consistent delivery of projects.

Work is carefully planned, balancing conflicting needs, including keeping traffic moving, and sequenced within available budget constraints.

What additional measures are implemented to speed up the delivery of the roadworks programme on busy arterial routes?

Where it is safe to do so, more work crews will work on the same project.  However the work area limits the number of crews that can practically work on one project.

Construction equipment and the need to move large amounts of material in trucks create their own logistical and safety issues.

Why is SCIRT undertaking work on so many streets in the central city at once?

The vertical (buildings) rebuild of our city centre has now started, however. the fresh water, wastewater and stormwater pipes which will service our new city need to be in place in the road corridors before some areas of this work starts. SCIRT will work with the Christchurch City Council, CERA, other organisations and land owners to co-ordinate the repair of infrastructure.

Why do you have speed limits in place through roadwork sites?

Speed restrictions are important for a number of reasons. They help protect the workers, prevent windscreen breakage from loose chips, and reduce the chances of drivers losing control on an unfinished or damaged road surface. They also help to ‘settle in’ the road surface, as travelling too fast can damage new seal, resulting in additional delays if repairs have to be carried out.

Motorists who exceed the speed restrictions are breaking the law and putting road workers, themselves, and other motorists at risk.

Often speed restrictions remain in place for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious, for example, even when work is not happening the speed restriction signs will remain in place for safety reasons, or to protect the new surface while it beds in after the resealing is complete.

For your safety, the safety of the road crews and to prevent potential damage to your car, we ask you to slow down when you drive through a site where crews are working.

Why is the road still closed to traffic yet no one working on the resealing?

If the road looks brown or dusty or muddy then it’s likely that we are waiting for the new seal to set before we let cars, trucks and bikes drive over it and churn up the newly laid road surface.