Constructure Christchurch is playing a key role in the final chapter of one of the most iconic sports grounds in New Zealand history, working with Clearwater Construction in the deconstruction of Lancaster Park, later known as AMI Stadium or Jade Stadium.
The legendary stadium hosted some of New Zealand’s most memorable rugby, cricket, athletics and other sporting moments, epic rock concerts by U2, Pearl Jam and others, as well as a visit by Pope John Paul II.
The deconstruction of Lancaster Park has been in progress for some months, removing and salvaging parts of the stadium, and the project has now moved onto the demolition of the stands.
The project team is relying on Constructure’s expertise to provide structural engineering design advice to develop the crane lift methodologies as well as temporary works design for the removal of the roof and ancillary structures to the Deans Stand, Paul Kelly Stand and Tui Stands.
The work got underway in early June with the demolition of the Tui stand at the southern end Lancaster Park.
The Hadlee stand at the north end of the stadium had already been demolished in 2012 for safety reasons.
“Demolition of the Tui stand signals the start of the main demolition work,’’ says Lee Butcher, who is project managing the stadium’s deconstruction for Christchurch City Council.
“Contractors have spent the past several months working to salvage as much of the stadium as possible and to complete the soft-strip. That work is largely finished and they are now at the stage where they are ready to move onto the main demolition work,’’ Mr Butcher says.
“They will start by using two excavators to poke holes into the stand. They will then rip it open like an old fashioned can opener.
“At the same time they will have a crane operating to remove the Tui side-screens and the scoreboard.’’
Mr Butcher says demolition of the Tui Stand, which is the smallest of the three stands, is expected to take about two months to complete.
Gravel from underneath the stand will be trucked to the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub site, in the city’s southwest, so it can be reused there.
“The next big job is the removal of the roofs from the Paul Kelly and Deans stands,’’ Mr Butcher says.
“A 400-tonne crane will arrive on the site at the end of June and work will begin on the removal of the roofs in the first week of July.’’
The deconstruction of Lancaster Park Stadium is believed to be one of the biggest demolition jobs undertaken in New Zealand and is expected to take 12 to 14 months to complete.
The Lancaster Park war memorial gates, built to commemorate the Canterbury athletes who served in World War I, will be protected and preserved during the deconstruction.
For live updates of the demolition job, please click on: https://ccc.govt.nz/rec-and-sport/projects/lancaster-park