The Christchurch City Council has reached its first major milestone in the Town Hall Restoration, with the beginning of foundation work to strengthen the building. Significant strengthening is required due to damage caused to the land beneath and around the Town Hall (as well as to the hall itself).
Thousands of tonnes of concrete are being injected into the Town Hall’s foundations, as part of the Christchurch City Council’s project to rebuild the historic site. This week the project’s contractors, Hawkins, began the lengthy process of jet grouting the quake-damaged building’s foundations which involves injecting more than 1000 large concrete piles into the ground (1000 concrete piles equates to approximately 270 family swimming pools or 47,500 bath tubs full of concrete!) Once this concrete is injected, a thick concrete slab will be laid over the concrete for further security.
The injection of the concrete will take until June next year to complete and is the first stage in the $127.5 million repair of the Hall, which is largely funded by insurance money. The restoration includes a significant upgrade and refurbishment of the building itself.
Christchurch City Council anchor projects manager Liam Nolan said that the strengthening exercise means the Town Hall will be stronger than it was before the earthquakes, and will ensure that the building will continue to be enjoyed by Christchurch residents for the next 50 years.