Orion powers up northern Christchurch

11 February 2021 at 2:10 pm

Orion has commenced a major project to increase the capacity and resilience of its power network to support future growth in the Northwood and Belfast area.

Orion will build a new zone substation on Blakes Road and lay a new underground 66kV power cable connecting the new substation into the network at Orion’s Marshland Zone substation in Prestons Road.

Laying the new 4.1 kilometre cable will involve trenching progressively in sections in the roadway along Prestons, Marshland, Belfast and Blakes Roads.

Construction starts on Monday 15 February 2021 and will continue until early 2022.

Orion General Manager of Infrastructure, Steve Macdonald, says they have made every effort to minimise the impact on residents and businesses along the route.

“We’ll be trenching at multiple locations at the same time, to speed the work along, and using steel plates and temporary back-filling to give residents access to their homes as we pass their properties.

“The longest we’ll be outside a property will be around seven weeks, and we will work in with people and businesses as we go.”

For safety reasons, laying the new cable in the roadway means there will be traffic impacts. One-way systems will be in place throughout the work; starting on Monday with Belfast Road one-way westbound from Marshland Road to Blakes Road until June 2021.

“We held off starting the cable trenching until the new motorway was open, so traffic has an alternative route.

“We’ll give people plenty of notice as we implement one-way road closures to give people enough time to plan their alternative routes,” said Macdonald.

Orion is working in with Christchurch City Council’s Marshland Road Bridge widening project, and has appointed Isaac Civil Construction to carry out the cable trenching aspect of the project.

For more information including works notices please view our Powering Up Belfast project page.