Last week, Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) announced the successful construction partners for delivering Penlink are HEB, Fulton Hogan, Aurecon, and Tonkin and Taylor.
Representatives gathered on June 10 with NZTA to formally sign an agreement that saw the group become an alliance to construct the 7km, 2-lane road and bridge linking Whangaparāoa Peninsula with SH1 at Redvale. It includes a walking and cycling path but no dedicated bus lane.
NZTA’s national infrastructure delivery manager, Mark Kinvig, said the Penlink alliance will have a strong focus on reducing construction emissions.
During the tendering process the alliance refined the design of the bridge, including reducing the number of piers in the Wēiti River, from three to two. This reduces the impact on the marine environment and allows clearer views and passage through the navigation channel.
Construction methodology changes include a reduction in temporary staging, which helps to minimise greenhouse gas emissions. A lowered entrance to the crossing will better fit with the landscape, enabling 235m to be trimmed off the overall crossing, reducing the amount of steel and concrete required.
A cable supported crossing reduces the amount of concrete required, significantly reducing construction emissions and the northern pier has also been moved away from the coastal cliff to avoid excavation into the cliff face.
The latest cost estimate for the build is $750m and work is scheduled to begin this year. Government is considering whether the road will be tolled. Public consultation regarding tolling of the road ended in February. There were 3337 submissions. More detailed information and analysis of these submissions is due to be made publicly available on the NZTA Penlink webpage soon (mid-2022) as part of the consultation summary report.
If the Government approves tolling Penlink, the tolling scheme would be in place when the road opens, expected to be in 2026.