Tunnel closures for fire safety upgrade

SAFETY UPGRADE: Expect overnight traffic delays as a new deluge system is installed within Lyttelton Tunnel to improve safety in the case of fire.

Motorists can expect periodic night-time lane closures of the Lyttelton Tunnel between now and the end of next year.

The closures are needed to allow work on a $28.7 million upgrade of the tunnel’s fire protection system.

The New Zealand Transport Agency said for a few nights each month just one traffic lane in the tunnel will be open and on occasions both traffic lanes will need to be closed.

Details about the lane closure dates are posted on the NZTA website, www.nzta.govt.nz

The upgrade of Lyttelton tunnel’s fire protection system is the largest project undertaken at the tunnel since it opened more than 50 years ago.

It will see the tunnel fitted with a fire deluge system designed to control and contain a fire until emergency services reach the scene.

Around 9km of pipe will be used for the deluge system, which is being installed in the exhaust and air duct corridors above the tunnel.

The work will largely be carried out at night and during the early hours of the morning to keep disruptions to tunnel users to a minimum.