22 Apr 2016

New wall to replace Sumner safety containers

3:55 pm on 22 April 2016

The wall of containers that greets visitors to the Christchurch suburb of Sumner will soon be replaced with a $2.5 million retaining wall.

Redcliffs and Sumner suffered major damage in the Canterbury earthquakes.

Redcliffs and Sumner suffered major damage in the Canterbury earthquakes. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

For the past five years, the stretch of road into the seaside suburb has been protected from falling rocks from an adjacent cliff by a long stretch of shipping containers, piled two high.

After the cliff partly collapsed in the February 2011 earthquake, the containers were parked below it as a temporary measure.

They did their job when the cliff gave way in dramatic fashion after an aftershock four months later.

Homes at the top of the cliff either tumbled off the edge or were left dangling, and large amounts of rock were deposited on the reserve below.

Work on replacing the containers with a stone bund - or retaining wall - is due to be completed by the start of summer.

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