Second stage of Branxholme Pipeline Upgrade to begin soon

The Invercargill City Council is urging residents to plan ahead, as one of its major infrastructure projects gets closer to highly-populated parts of the city.

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

Invercargill City Council Programme Director Lee Butcher said the first phase of the project – involving work along North Rd, and in Makarewa – was now almost complete.

The second phase of the project will begin on McIvor Rd in late August, before continuing through Donovan Park, across Bainfield Rd, and into the Waikiwi Reservoir in Myers Reserve later this year.

“This is a really critical piece of infrastructure for Invercargill and Bluff, and the new pipeline is designed to last for more than a century. Installing it will ensure our community continues to enjoy clean, safe drinking water in the years to come,” Butcher said.

The existing pipeline installed in 1958 had come to the natural end of its lifespan – and the new pipeline would improve the resilience of Invercargill’s water main supply, Butcher said.

“As we get closer to more residential properties, and more densely-populated industrial areas, the project’s impact will become more obvious,” he said.

“We know that, given the scale of the project and the nature of what we are doing, this work will be disruptive to the regular routines of some people in our community. The project will cause disruptions such as roads going down to one-way traffic, or people being unable to access their driveways for a day or two.

“We would really encourage people to start thinking about how this project might impact them during school drop-off, getting home from work, or on their nightly walk through Donovan Park – and plan an alternative.

“We will certainly be doing everything we can to complete the project as quickly as possible, and minimise the impact this work has on the public. We really encourage the community to sign up to our newsletter by visiting our website, or following us on Facebook, to get the latest updates,” Butcher said.

With 3.7km of pipeline already replaced successfully, the remainder of the project will install about 7km of 600mm pipe between Pomona Road West and the water tower on Gala St. The existing pipeline will be replaced with a modern, durable version constructed from polyethylene, he said.

Work on the first stage of the Branxholme Pipeline Upgrade began in mid-2022. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.