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An image of the new Dunedin Hospital. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
An image of the new Dunedin Hospital. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
Planners responsible for the new Dunedin hospital have reconsidered, and again rejected, regularly using two pile-driving rigs at the same time.

The Ministry of Health is applying for fast-track consent to build the $1.47 billion project, and an independent panel is now collecting information to decide on phase one of the project, its groundworks and foundations.

Several neighbours of the inner city site as well as other interested parties were asked by the panel to comment on the proposal, and their responses revealed widespread concern from them about the possible effect in terms of noise and vibrations from piling work.

The panel then asked the ministry if it might use more than one rig to speed that work up and shorten the period of disruption.

The ministry replied that it had considered that approach earlier in the project.

‘‘[It] was discounted due to the challenge of preparing sufficient piling locations to utilise two piling cranes based on the archaeological constraints surrounding the excavation works.’’

Following the panel’s question, the matter was worked through again but still felt to be impractical, the ministry’s lawyers said in a letter to the panel.

For two rigs to be used they would need to be sited 60m to 100m apart to minimise the chance of one rig interfering with the work of the other.

Noise levels from piling with two rigs would increase by up to 3 decibels, a just audible increase in noise.

However, if times the rigs were in action did not overlap, which was likely, although noise levels would not increase, noise would be audible for more of the day, the ministry said.

‘‘Instead of three hours of piling during the course of the day, the noise would be audible for six hours per day, with a shorter overall duration in number of days as a result.’’

Vibrations were not expected to increase unless the hammers dropped at the same time, which was unlikely.

‘‘However, similar to noise, the number of vibration events received per day will increase for a shorter number of days.’’

The ministry said because of protocols it had to follow to allow archaeological access to the site, it was still not considered practical to use two rigs on a consistent basis.

In response to another question from the panel, the ministry said trial piling had been done almost a year ago, at the same time as Dunedin Hospital’s CT scanners were being used in its oncology department, and no issues were found with the medical machines due to vibration.

Panel chairman Judge Laurie Newhook said its decision on the application was due on December 13, but noted that due to the scale and nature of the proposal it could extend the decision-making period by up to a further 25 working days.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz 

Comments

And these neighbours will be the first to whinge when it's not completed on time! If you choose to live inner city that is awesome and that is your prerogative, but you must take the inner city living sites and sounds. There is a State highway running right thru town, surely there is considerable sounds created by this also?

Just remember, 3 years and 3 months to the grand opening, and still not started yet.
Will it have things going up in Labours second term?

Move it before its too late, Waikari Grounds or Mosgiel and turn the proposed site in to a Central Park type park

 

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