Road users reminded to plan ahead, as Branxholme Pipeline Upgrade hits city streets

The Branxholme Pipeline Upgrade is set to broach Invercargill’s city streets soon. 

Work on installing the pipeline at Bainfield Rd – the busy Waikiwi thoroughfare – is scheduled to start on November 14. 

Invercargill City Council Programme Director Lee Butcher said although the project had already had some impact on members of the community, its arrival at Bainfield Rd would represent a significant milestone. 

While physical work on the pipeline upgrade started back in mid-2022, until now it had been limited to semi-rural areas on the outskirts of the city boundary. Now, work on installing the pipeline at Donovan Park was almost complete, and the project would come to its first noticeable milestone: potentially disrupting the daily commute for city residents, he said. 

“The Branxholme Pipeline Upgrade is one of Invercargill City Council’s major infrastructure projects, and since work began last year it has caused some disruption to residents nearby. We’re grateful that people have been so understanding of how crucial this project is, and have been patient as we carried out work near them,” he said. 

“Now, though, with the pipeline installation arriving at a major city thoroughfare, that disruption will be felt beyond people in the project’s immediate vicinity. We know this project will have an impact on a number of people in our community, and ask that they are patient with us as we carry out this very necessary work.” 

The Branxholme Pipeline Upgrade would see more than 10km of pipe installed through several city streets, along a state highway, and under two waterways. 

The existing pipeline installed in 1958 had come to the natural end of its lifespan – and its modern replacement, made of polyethylene and designed to last more than 100 years, would improve the resilience of Invercargill and Bluff’s water main supply, Butcher said.  

Work on Bainfield Rd was expected to take about a week. During that time, traffic management restrictions – including going from four lanes of traffic, to two – would be in place, he said. 

“We’d strongly encourage people using Bainfield Rd to plan ahead. Add some time up your sleeve to get to work, be patient, and take an alternative route if possible,” he said.  

“While we’re not expecting anybody to face major delays as a result of these traffic management measures, it is likely to add a little bit of extra time to people’s days.” 

The Branxholme Pipeline Upgrade will progress throughout much of the city, from Waikiwi to the water tower in central Invercargill, and the suburb of Gladstone. The project had been broken down into several stages, to minimise disruption to the community as much as possible, Butcher said. 

The project was scheduled for completion in late 2024, he said.
To find out more about the project, click here.