Generally speaking, roadworks and winter weather don’t mix very well, but there are still major roadworks going on regardless of the recent cold snaps and torrential downpours.
Work on the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway will continue apace throughout the winter, even though large scale earthworks are on hold until October, to avoid sediment-laden water from heavy rainfall getting into waterways. The workforce on site will drop from about 300 to 200, but there will still be plenty going on, according to NZ Transport Agency’s senior manager for project delivery, Chris Hunt. He says some small scale earthworks may still carried be out if conditions are right, and NX2 will be busy building culverts and other structures throughout the coming months.
“The travelling public will see works progressing on the southernmost viaduct, Te Arawhiti ki Okahu, the bridge at Okahu,” he says. “The pre-construction activities for the second viaduct in the area, Te Arawhiti ki Pūhoi, or the bridge at Pūhoi, began in March.”
Preparation work for the foundation of the Woodcocks Road bridge will also be carried out, as well as extensive rock extraction, blasting and crushing, plus drainage works and the construction of sediment retention ponds in new work areas.
Chris says the project is going well overall, with the bulk of the excavation work to come next summer, when the plan is to move 4 million cubic metres of land.
“The weather has been challenging, but it hasn’t affected progress. In all large projects, there is allowance for extreme weather events,” he says.
“Across the whole project, there is more than 7 million cubic metres of existing ground to excavate or ‘cut’. About 5 million cubic metres of the excavated material will be used as fill to build up the motorway and create a smooth road gradient.”
The remaining 2 million cubic metres will be moved to special soil disposal sites or used for landscaping the new motorway.