Timeball tower rebuild expected to start in July


Offsite work has progressed on returning the Timeball tower and mechanism to Lyttelton’s skyline, with work at the Reserve Terrace site expected to begin in July.

Heritage New Zealand put work on hold last June so significant earthquake repair road works on Sumner Road and Reserve Terrace could be carried out by the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team.

"A project manager (The Building Intelligence Group) has been procured and a preferred stonemason selected," says Heritage Destinations General Manager Nick Chin.

"We are in the process of selecting a head contractor and we hope to start rebuilding the Timeball tower in July.

"The tower will be built first to accommodate the Timeball mechanism.  The stonemasonry work will take place in the spring and summer months when the weather is at its best to ensure proper curing."

The project’s budget remains within the approximately $3 million raised through fundraising.  The plan is to return the Timeball tower, mechanism, flagpole and landscaped grounds with interpretation to the site.

"Community interest in the Timeball’s return remains high from discussions we have had following earlier community consultation on the project.  Heritage New Zealand appreciates the community’s patience as we work through the logistics of the Timeball tower’s return.  It is the first major rebuild project we have undertaken so we are taking time to make sure we do it right."

Following the June 2011 earthquake the Timeball Station was dismantled and as much heritage material was put into storage so it could be later returned to the site.

"The stonemasonry component of the rebuild will be exciting because we’re bringing back what was originally there to keep the physical link to 1876, when the Timeball first dropped, alive."