Construction will soon begin on Lyttelton’s new cruise berth, bringing the return of cruise ships to the port one step closer.
The cruise berth will be located between Cashin Quay and the entrance to the Inner Harbour. It will be the first custom-built cruise ship facility in New Zealand designed to accommodate the world’s largest cruise vessels.
“The cruise berth is part of LPC’s long-term plan to ensure the Port can serve the region’s future needs. Preparation work for the construction of the cruise berth began in early June. The next phase will see pile driving begin in early July and completed in early 2020,'' says LPC Chief Executive Peter Davie.
Piling will occur intermittently, Monday through to Saturday, and the noise levels will be comparable to the construction of Cashin Quay wharf in 2014 and 2015. However, given the cruise berth’s proximity to residents, pile driving will be heard more widely.
“We are mindful of the effect underwater noise from piling can have on dolphins. This was a key reason for the wharf being redesigned during the past few months. Reducing the size of the wharf has significantly reduced underwater noise levels. A marine piling management plan will be in place to further manage potential risks to Hector’s dolphins from the piling activities.”
Mr Davie says the original design of the cruise ship berth called for piles 1200mm in diameter. However, the company’s research has revealed the effects of noise from piles this size on Hector’s dolphin will be very difficult to manage, so LPC has redesigned the wharf accordingly.
“In the new design the piles are now 900mm in diameter, which significantly reduces the pile driving noise underwater. The new design does not require resource consent to construct the wharf, as it is within the regulations of the Lyttelton Port Recovery Plan. We have applied for consent to allow the larger cruise ships to berth at the wharf, and to undertake minor dredging works.
“We are excited to see the construction phase begin as it signals a significant step in the return of cruise ships to Lyttelton Harbour,'' Mr Davie says.