Safely ahead of the game with cutting edge technology

Chapter 1: Overcoming construction obstacles while looking after mother nature

Author: Katherine Lehmuller, October 2016

The Waikato Expressway is a significant new four-lane highway being built on the North Island of New Zealand. When completed, it will be a vital strategic connection for the Waikato region, linking the busy urban centre of Auckland to the rapidly growing Bay of Plenty region. This has been designated by New Zealand as one of the seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS), a programme that invests in the future growth and safety of New Zealand. When finished, the fourlane expressway will not only improve travel time and contribute to the region’s economic growth, more importantly, the thoroughfare will improve the safety of driving, significantly reducing serious accidents, traffic congestion and noise.

Overcoming construction obstacles while looking after mother nature

The Waikato Expressway has been split into seven different sections of construction and is being built by various contractors. All sections will be completed by early 2020. New Zealand’s Transport Agency chose the Fulton Hogan HEB alliance to construct the 15.2 kilometre stretch, known as the Huntley section, and the two companies have already successfully worked together on other large construction projects, such as the recently opened Tauranga Eastern Link in the Bay of Plenty region.

The estimated NZ $458 million construction of the Huntly section, which commenced in October 2015, will entail building nine bridges, of which four will transport traffic over local roads, four over existing streams and one over a railway line.

There are 36 major culverts, or underground tunnels, ranging in length from 13 to 130 metres. These allow rivers with fish and other aquatic life to pass through. The Fulton Hogan HEB alliance takes special care to preserve the wildlife in and around these streams as many are on the endangered species list.

Certainly the most challenging aspect of the Huntly section is its diverse terrain. Bulk earthworks for this section involves moving more than 3 million cubic metres of material. One million cubic metres of rock needs to be removed from the Taupiri Pass and requires controlled blasting for the final 10 per cent of the road’s construction.

Explore next chapter: A full array of solutions

Story: Safely ahead of the game with cutting edge technology
Chapter 1: Overcoming construction obstacles while looking after mother nature
Chapter 2: A full array of solutions
Chapter 3: Safety is not always in numbers on construction sites
Chapter 4: Endless possibilities using Leica MS60 Multistation and Captivate software
Chapter 5: Machine control - great for production and for safety

Reporter 76

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