The CN7 Cut located in the Central Zone was one of the major excavations to be completed during the 2018/19 earthwork season. The 250m-long rock cut has a maximum depth of about 45 metres.
The Puhoi to Warkworth motorway project has reached the half-way point of its five-year construction programme, with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) quietly confident works are on target to be completed by October 2021.
Road builders Northern Express Group (NX2) fell just short of its ambitious target of excavating 4 million cubic metres of earth to advance the project during the earthworks season, which ran from October 2018 to May this year, but was happy with the actual total of 3.7 million cubic metres.
Other work during the year saw 2.4 million cubic metres of earthwork fill undertaken and progress on motorway structures including seven bridges (see map) and three underpasses. The underpasses are located at Perry Road, Carran Road and Hikauae Creek.
About 40 per cent of the steelwork for the structures is complete and 25 per cent of the concrete work.
With the 2019 earthworks season now over, NX2 will plough on through winter with rock blasting, drainage works, erosion and sediment control. The consortium will also progress a Wyllie Road realignment and landscaping works.
The landscaping will see 120ha planted over the next three seasons – one of New Zealand’s largest replanting programmes for a roading project.
Planting is undertaken in winter when water is plentiful for plants to absorb and establish.
“Those using the new motorway can expect a truly unique journey,” says NX2.
NZTA spokesperson Darryl Walker says no decision has yet been made on whether the motorway will be a toll road. He says any decision on tolling will follow public consultation and require the approval of the Minister of Transport.
Seven bridges (marked in green) will link Puhoi to Warkworth. About 40 per cent of the steel work for the structures is complete and 25 per cent of the concrete work.