Excellent roading

The fifth Roading Excellence Awards acknowledges the valuable contribution the industry makes to New Zealand’s economy, and also to celebrates the significant improvements in roading design, health and safety practices, construction methods and, ultimately, the project delivery that companies are achieving. 

From 26 entries, 11 were selected as finalists. These projects were undertaken by 12 companies, local authorities, alliances and organisations, and represent the breadth and diversity of the roading industry.

InfraTrain New Zealand Industry Best Practice Award – People

City Care, Increasing Safe Behaviours at City Care

Roading_1.jpgCity Care believes good practice is about more than just having good systems, it’s about engaging and encouraging their people who use the systems.

Nearly all workplace accidents are a direct result of people’s behaviour.  By encouraging its workers to increase safe behaviours and decrease at-risk behaviours, City Care has reduced its workplace accidents.

City Care have come a long way from a previous culture which seemed to accept some accidents at work were inevitable because of the nature and physicality of the work.  To help change this culture, City Care’s behavioural-focused health and safety programme, Behave Safe, was created. 

City Care has made the concepts behind Behave Safe available to other organisations so that its experiences and learning can be shared for the benefit of the wider industry.

InfraTrain New Zealand Industry Best Practice Award – Environmental Sustainability

Aecom, Healing Te Rerenga Wairua – Cape Reinga Upgrade

Roading_2.jpgHealing Te Rerenga Wairua – Upgrading Cape Reinga combines roading and environmental excellence with social, cultural and economic benefits in a project that has transformed one of New Zealand’s iconic sites.

The term ‘Healing Te Rerenga Wairua’ refers to the improved access as a result of the sealing of the final 10 kilometres of State Highway 1 and the removal and relandscaping of earthworks and structures that had been built over sensitive cultural sites.

Te Rerenga Wairua is one of Maoridom’s most important cultural and spiritual places, steeped in history, mystery and meaning. As part of the project, interpretation panels have been fashioned from rusted steel, stone and timber, affording visitors an overview of its rich expression.

The use of sustainable roading designs and materials, as well as the creation of a nursery to ‘eco-source’ half a million plants to heal scars left from inappropriate roads, buildings and developments, has resulted in the protection of the conservation values of the area, as well as employment and upskilling opportunities for the local community.

Goughs Excellence Award for a Minor Road Project

Fulton Hogan, GHD and NZTA, State Highway 60 – Eureka Bend Reinstatement

Roading_3.jpgThe notorious State Highway 60 over Takaka Hill in the Tasman region traverses steep mountainous terrain and provides the only road access to the Golden Bay.

A major slip in November 2006 threatened to completely isolate this small rural paradise and severely damage the local economy.

In November 2008 tenders were invited, using a value-based selection process, early contractor involvement to assist with the design and to then carry out permanent repairs. Fulton Hogan, the preferred contractor, joined NZ Transport Agency and consultants GHD in finalising the design, working through Christmas so that physical works could begin just four weeks after tenders closed.

The slip zone was secured with 2200 lineal metres of soil nails and a 6300 cubic metre mechanically stabilised earth slope was constructed. The project required 14,000 tonnes of rock to be imported, placed and compacted. The estimated value of construction (including fees) at design stage was $3.65 million, and the final project cost was $3.29 million. All works were completed in full and on time before the onset of winter.

Shell Bitumen Excellence Award for a Major Road Project

Northern Gateway Alliance, Northern Gateway Toll Road

Roading_4.jpgThe NZ Transport Agency engaged the Northern Gateway Alliance (NGA) in March 2004 to design and construct the Northern Gateway Toll Road, an extension of State Highway One, 30 kilometres north of Auckland. Six alliance partners and two sub-alliance partners made up the alliance and each member played a critical role in ensuring the project was innovative, efficient, and cost-effective.

The toll road passes through a historically rich and diverse landscape containing steep topography, large tracts of native bush, regionally significant streams and estuaries, and areas of pastoral farmland, making it one of New Zealand’s largest and most challenging roading projects.

The NGA embraced the opportunities presented within this complex setting to realise its vision of creating a Northern Gateway that is a visual showcase of environmental and engineering excellence.

The NGA incorporated social and cultural considerations on the project from a very early stage, including how to avoid adverse effects on the environment, ensuring the views of affected communities were taken into account, and considering various design options. The project has delivered excellent outcomes as a result of this transparent and proactive approach. The toll road was opened ahead of schedule on January 25, 2009.   

Contractor Vol.33  No.9  October 2009
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