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SCIRT cleans up the streets

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Thousands of stray road cones are stacked up in the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) yard, as a result of its campaign to tidy up the streets while it winds down.

SCIRT put out the call for the public to send in their tip-offs of cones gone astray or left behind during the rebuild, littering the city’s berms, gutters and parks.

The SCIRT CONEMOBILE has been a striking presence on Christchurch streets with its distinctive Mohawk of road cones on the roof.  Throughout November it was despatched to follow up on more than 800 tip-offs and collected almost 4000 cones from across the city.

SCIRT Executive General Manager, Ian Campbell, says the purpose of the cone recall was to leave the streets of Christchurch clean and tidy.

“SCIRT has used about 100,000 road cones over the last five and a half years, but they haven’t always made it back to the yard when a site was packed up.

The largest number of cones retrieved, around 500, came from the Riccarton area. Other suburbs averaged 50-100 cones each.

“We suspect many thought they’d try their hand at the student life, but decided it wasn’t for them.”

Many of the recovered road cones will be put straight back to work. Some have already been sent to Kaikoura to help with the emergency response.

“A lot of the cones look like they have been sleeping rough on the streets. Around half can be reused; and the rest will need to be recycled or disposed of.”

“From cones in gardens, rivers and on top of roofs, you name it, we found the foot soldiers of the rebuild often in the strangest of places.”

It wasn’t just cones that were collected, SCIRT also picked up 70 dis-used road signs and stands left stranded on roadsides. The recovered road cones and signage belong to 125 different companies and not all of them came from SCIRT work sites.

With several battalions of cones now stacked up in the SCIRT yard, the companies that own them are being invited to collect their long lost soldiers.

But cones are not completing disappearing from Christchurch streets because the Christchurch City Council is spending $100 million on resealing the bumpiest roads and has an ongoing programme of maintenance of the underground pipes after SCIRT winds down.

Published: 01 December 2016