$50k to get rid of ghost lights from former Christchurch red zone

More than 600 redundant street light fittings will be removed in the former red zone land. Photo:...
More than 600 redundant street light fittings will be removed in the former red zone land. Photo: Newsline / CCC
Hundreds of old light fittings are being removed from the former Christchurch red zone - but most of the poles will stay for now.

The Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor area was home to more than 5000 houses before they were demolished as a result of the earthquakes.

Some of the infrastructure that served the homes is still in place but Christchurch City Council today announced plans to start removing more than 600 redundant street light fittings over the coming weeks.

Along with the lights in the ŌARC, a small number of redundant light fittings are also being removed from red zoned parts of Brooklands and South New Brighton.

Removing the light fittings comes at a cost of around $50,000. That expense is expected to be recouped through power savings.

Lynette Ellis. Photo: Supplied
Lynette Ellis. Photo: Supplied
The fittings remained in place while future plans were being developed for the ŌARC.

"We now have clarity around the future vision for this area, which makes removing the light fittings the most suitable option," said city council head of transport Lynette Ellis.

A regeneration plan for the area includes the creation of an 11km ‘Green Spine’ on either side of the Avon River from the central city to New Brighton.

"Plans to transform the ŌARC into a dedicated space for recreation, exploration and enjoyment were given a major funding boost in the council’s Long Term Plan earlier this year.

"A key component of the regeneration plan for this area is the 'City to Sea Pathway', which will be constructed within three years.

"Removing these lights is a necessary step in that process. Community consultation about future lighting along the pathway is likely early next year," Ellis said.

However, some of the poles on which the light fittings are housed are owned by the city council, while others belong to electricity lines company Orion.

The council-owned poles will remain for the time being, as their underground cable work may be utilised in the future, Ellis said.

An Orion spokeswoman said it has no plans to remove its poles until a detailed assessment of infrastructure requirements had taken place.

"Given the interconnected nature of Orion’s network these poles are still servicing power across the ŌARC to supply other residential areas.

"We are working with the council on future project areas within the red zone which may require the reconfiguration or the removal of Orion’s assets to facilitate the project."

Only light fittings on roads that are out of service and blocked to vehicles will be removed. Some roads on red zoned land remain in service or provide partial or reduced access to nearby properties.

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