Invercargill CBD block rebuild boss hopes lost time can be made up

The Invercargill Central project director says the CBD block rebuild has lost 10 or 11 working days through the lockdown, but attempts will be made to catch up.

Geoff Cotton thought working extra hours was one way it could be done.

“We’ll let them [construction workers] get back up to speed, then we’ll take a bit of a review on the project to see whether we can pay some more money and push a bit harder to pull some of the time back.”

Discussions between Invercargill Central Ltd and building contractor Amalgamated Builders Ltd (ABL) to find ways of making up the time would be held, Cotton said.

The Farmers building is scheduled to open on May 19, 2022. It remained the target and if five or six of the lost days could be made up that would help, Cotton added.

A priority was to get more truckloads of concrete and steel into the construction site, he said.

About 50 workers, including management, were able to return to the site on Wednesday under alert level 3. Most of the 140 will be back on Thursday.

A day would be needed to “remobilise” workers after the lockdown, Cotton said.

Workers needed to be informed of health and safety changes at alert level 3, including where additional wash bays and sanitising stations were situated, new health and safety signs needed to be put up and updating computer software for staff to sign in and fill out a health declaration.

The large area that the rebuild block took up would help in keeping sub-contractors in bubbles on site, Cotton said.

“Some sub-tradies are from Christchurch, and they’re living in the same house [in Invercargill]. So, they’re effectively living in their own bubble.”