Road Engineering Assn NZ Chapter Newsletter Vol 37
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Welcome to the Road Engineering Assn NZ Chapter newsletter.

What you can read about in this edition:
Transmission Gully - "We Can't Wait"
Call for Papers 2015 Roadshow - "The Road Industry - What is our future?"
NZTA Journey Management Workshops 2015

Waterview Connection Site Visit & Photos
2015 Dates of Interest


Wednesday 25th February 2015

"The Road Industry - What is our Future?"
Auckland - 19 August
Taupo - 20 August
Wellington - 21 August
Christchurch - 24 August
Dunedin - 25 August
Call for Papers closes 17 March 2015


16 - 18 September 2015
Rydges Latimer, Christchurch
Call for Abstracts closes Friday 12 December 2014

"The Road Industry - What is our Future?"

Roadshow 2015

Auckland  ~  Wednesday 19 August
Taupo  ~  Thursday 20 August
Wellington  ~  Friday 21 August 

Christchurch  ~  Monday 24 August  
Dunedin  ~  Tuesday 25 August

Planning is under way for the 2015 Roadshow with the dates set and the NZ Chapter committee is very excited to send out a call for papers with the following questions.

These are intended to provoke those in the roading industry to present to their peers their predictions on the future of the industry. 

  • Maintaining a skilled workforce “Where are the good people going to come from?”
  • Sustainable Resources “What will we be allowed to use to build tomorrow roads?” 
  • “Sweating the asset” – do we understand the implications?
  • Rate payer base for RCA’s – Urbanisation “Where have all the rate payers gone?”
  • Contractual/Collaboration – “Is profit a dirty word?” - “Sleeping with the enemy” - Is it the end of smaller contractors & consultants?

If you think you have an answer and are keen to present to the industry click here Call for Papers

Transmission Gully: "We can't wait"
Almost without exception, whenever the words Transmission Gully have come up in conversation in communities across Greater Wellington in recent weeks, the response has been; “We can’t wait.”

And that’s hardly surprising, given the long history of a Project, which has been the subject of discussion for several decades.

The awarding of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract in July, by the NZ Transport Agency to the Wellington Gateway Partnership (WGP), confirmed an alternate state highway route between Wellington City and the Kapiti Coast was no longer just talk.

All going to plan, motorists can expect to be driving along the new motorway by 2020. That’s just five years away – less than half the time many residents expected this build would take. And it’s that timeframe that is exciting for the older population in particular who say they “never thought it would happen in my lifetime”.

The joint venture of Leighton Contractors and HEB Construction (LHJV) has been engaged by the WGP to undertake the design and construction of the 27kilometre route that will include 28 structures and three intermediate interchanges. The alignment passes through the boundaries of four Territorial Authorities (Kapiti Coast District, Upper Hutt City, Porirua City and Wellington City) in addition to being overviewed by the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Taken together – with the addition of 11 different geological terrains – it all adds up to a highly complex project.

The route to be built for the new motorway moves from rugged rocky outcrops through to rolling farmland. The terrain is both difficult and steep and will require large scale earthworks.

This means moving a lot of excavated material – 6.5 million cubic metres of it – in a relatively short period to deliver the programme and open the motorway. This combination has not previously been encountered in New Zealand and sets the Transmission Gully Project as being one of the largest infrastructure undertakings in Australasia.

All of the above culminates in a range of challenges which will require a number of different construction techniques – from ripping rock with bulldozers to the use of mechanical scrapers, excavators and dump trucks – depending on the location.
While not straightforward this is well within the capabilities of the joint venture, which brings together one of the most experienced road builders in Australasia (who have partnered in some of this country’s most complex infrastructure projects) with one of New Zealand’s largest and most successful privately owned civil construction companies.  Combined these two entities have more than five decades of experience building roads and bridges within this country.

There is, of course, much that still needs to happen to support the start of the bulk earthworks (what many consider the ‘real’ work) in September 2015.

The first tangible sign of work on the ground is getting closer and it will be the establishment of the project site office and compound, at Lanes Flat near Pauatahanui.

Fill material will be brought in to build up the three hectare site to support a number of office buildings that will be relocated to provide space for around 100 joint venture staff, who will be moving in within the first quarter of 2015.

In the meantime the “behind the scenes work” continues. 

LHJV is undertaking the design and construction for WGP and has spent the time since contract award completing site investigations and finalising management and outline plans to begin both the enabling and permanent works. These site investigations have been ongoing since the beginning of 2014 when WGP was notified by NZTA that it was the preferred bidder for the project.

The challenging conditions of rugged terrain and difficult access encountered during the investigations work have provided a very clear indication of what is to come on a daily basis. In order to gather geotechnical information from the top of the batter slopes, for example, scaffold and drill rigs have had to be helicoptered to site. The scaffold is needed to provide the rigs with a level platform from which to operate.

These site investigations are crucial in providing the design team with geotechnical information relating to slope stability for earthworks, and at the location of bridge abutments to support the necessary detailed design work which will ensure the motorway meets not only the required safety standards but is also earthquake resilient.

The most stringent seismic design standards are being applied to the project with significant attention being applied to the embankments in the northern section of the route (where the alignment crosses the Ohariu faultline near the Wainui Saddle.)

Semi-flexible pavement, overland drains and the use of semi-flexible pipes (as opposed to concrete drainage structures) will provide flexibility in the asset response and assist in a rapid response and repairs in the event of damage from a seismic event.

Learnings from Christchurch and international best practice are being applied in the design of bridge structures. The shorter structures will be fully integral and the larger bridges will include base isolation and “rocking foundation” solutions.

All involved in the project are conscious of the potential impacts of the works on the environment and project neighbours. In addition to meeting resource consent conditions laid down for the project, there has been engagement and many conversations with iwi, territorial and regional authorities and environmental and community groups on how the environment can be best cared for at all times.

Those conversations have been central to the development of an environmental vision for the design and construction of the Transmission Gully motorway which is to “deliver an environmentally resilient route that enhances user appreciation of regional landscape, cultural and amenity values, and delivers a durable road asset.”

Safety is one of the NZ Transport Agency’s prime drivers and the motorway is being designed in accordance with RONS (Roads of National Significance) standards with a maximum grade of 8% to support the travel needs of all - vehicles. Heading south, towards Wellington, the climb is ~235m over 4km. Heading north, from Wellington; the climb is ~130m over 3km. There will be crawler lanes (slow vehicle lanes) provided in each direction, and on the northern side of the ‘peak’ (Wainui Saddle) heading downhill towards McKays Crossing there will be a ‘truck arrestor bed’ – the first such provision in New Zealand.

Transmission Gully  will be a key component of a number of national, regional and local transport strategies, policies and plans to improve travel within the region and nationally.  When built, it will provide a safe and reliable alternative route between MacKays Crossing and Linden that will reduce travel times and provide greater travel time reliability. It will also provide enhanced through movement of freight and people and improved connections to regional freight hubs, enhancing economic development.

As the first public private partnership for a state highway in New Zealand it also embodies innovation in design and engineering that will set a benchmark for road building in this country.

Public interest in an alternative state highway route into and out of Wellington, through Transmission Gully, goes back to the early part of last century. However, it has only been in the last decade that there has been serious focus on building a route through the Gully - and even more so, only in the last five years, for this new route to be part of a complete corridor solution for the ever-growing transport needs of the greater Wellington region.
The chronological history of the Transmission Gully motorway project has been as follows:
  • There has been documented public interest in a state highway route through Transmission Gully going back as far as 1919.  However it has only been in the last 20 years that public views have been canvassed formally.
  • Consultation was undertaken when the first designation for the proposed Transmission Gully route was established in the 1990s.  This was followed by a public consultation in 2005 to ascertain the views of residents of the greater Wellington region whether a route through Transmission Gully should be progressed, and another one in 2008 on a preferred route through the Gully.  Both public consultations showed overwhelming support for a motorway through the Gully.
  • In June 2012, regulatory consent applications for the project were approved by an independent Board of Inquiry.
  • In November 2012, the Cabinet gave the NZ Transport Agency approval to finance and build the Transmission Gully motorway through a Public Private Partnership.
  • In April 2013, the NZ Transport Agency short-listed two consortia to each prepare a proposal for the design, construction, financing, maintenance and operation of the Transmission Gully motorway for 25 years.
  • These proposals were received in October 2013 and underwent an evaluation process which saw the announcement in December 2013 of the Wellington Gateway Partnership as the consortium that the NZTA would enter into negotiations with.
  • Successful completion of contract negotiations between the NZ Transport Agency and the Wellington Gateway Partnership led to the signing of the PPP contract for the Transmission Gully project in July 2014.
  • Prime Minister John Key turned the ceremonial first sod in September 2014.
  • The Transmission Gully motorway is expected to be open for traffic in 2020.
 Geoff Dangerfield, Chief Executive of the Transport Agency, signing the Transmission Gully PPP contract watched by Peter Robinson of the Wellington Gateway Partnership.

Article kindly supplied by Leighton HEB Joint Venture and NZ Transport Agency

2014 Roadshow

The 2014 Roadshow theme was ‘Shaping Our Industry’ and the presentations were well received throughout the country with over 200 attendees across the five venues.

The seminars commenced in Auckland on 27 August and finished in Dunedin on 2 September.
This year the Young Presenter Competition was held at four venues and the winners of $500 each were:
Zane Davidson, Auckland Motorway Alliance ~ Auckland seminar
Blane Smith, TEL Construction Alliance ~ Taupo seminar
Mathew Donaldson, Opus International Consultants ~ Christchurch seminar
and Jason Forbes, NZ Transport Agency ~ Dunedin seminar
The presentation from the international speaker, Peter Balfe “Are you getting the quality you specified” received excellent feedback with one attendee noting “the presentations seem to get better every year”. 
It is commonly noted that the roadshow enables great networking opportunities and a great forum for the exchange of information and innovative ideas.
The Presentations from the 2014 roadshow and past roadshows are loaded on the Conference Papers page at the chapter’s website

Waterview Connection Site Visit

The NZ Chapter was very lucky to secure a site visit to the $1.4b Waterview Connection, which is the largest roading project ever undertaken in New Zealand.

A call for registrations went out to members and other potential interested parties for the site visit to be held on Wednesday 29th October.  Due to site constraints numbers were limited to the first 20 attendees and these spots were filled in the first 24 hours of publicity.  Fortunately the site was available for another visit the following the Wednesday and those on the waitlist were able to attend.

Within the Waterview Connection there will be Australasia’s largest road tunnel, being constructed using a custom-built tunnel boring machine (TBM) called Alice.  With a cutting diameter of 14.4m, it is the 10th largest machine of its kind ever built.  The attendees of both site visits were very fortunate to view Alice in the light of day as she was being deconstructed and being moved to the start of the Northbound tunnel where she will soon begin drilling south.

The project is being delivered by the Well-Connected Alliance, comprising the Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell Constructors, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin and Taylor, and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation. In addition to constructing the project, the Well-Connected Alliance is also responsible for managing and maintaining the new motorway for 10 years after it opens in early 2017. 

The Well-Connected Alliance has formed further partnerships with New Zealand pre-cast concrete suppliers Wilson Tunnelling and Spanish tunnel controls specialists SICE to manage the construction of the tunnel segments and long-term maintenance and operation.

If you missed out on the last site visits and are very keen to visit the site another date has been set for Wednesday 25th February 2015 for those interested.  Please email to secure your spot.

"Everything you ever wanted to know about Journey Management" 
We make journeys for great reasons; we socialise, we do business, we go to school, to work, holidays and go home every night. Helping these journeys reach their destinations every day will create a thriving New Zealand.

You may have all heard the term Journey Management being splashed around the tracks over the last year or so, so what really is this Journey Management all about? and how is it being integrated  and embedded across the transport sector and into the new world of network outcomes contracts, and who are these NZ Transport Agency Journey Managers and what do they actually do?
In early 2015 REAAA members will be invited to Journey Management workshops offered around the country. These workshops will give members insight into Journey Management giving the audience and overview of what is Journey Management and examples of how it is being integrated, using examples of practice from your region.
This presentation will:

  • Engage
  • Enthuse
  • Inform 

See you in 2015!
Safe journeys, 
Lee Wright
Canterbury/West Coast Journey Manager

Dates of Interest – 2015
Date Conference Location
1-2 New Year’s Day and Day after  
19 Wellington Anniversary Day  
26 Auckland Anniversary Day  
2 Nelson Anniversary Day  
6 Waitangi Day  
9 Taranaki Anniversary Day  
17 REAAA Roadshow Call for Papers Due  
22 – 24 IPENZ Transportation Group Conference  “World Class Transport” Christchurch
23 Otago Anniversary Day  
25 - 26 Road Infrastructure Management Forum Auckland
3-17 School Holidays  
3 Good Friday  
6 Easter Monday  
7 Southland Anniversary Day  
16 SOLGM Gala Dinner Wellington
tbc 101st REAAA Council Meeting Sri Lanka
27 ANZAC Day observed  
27 - 29 14th ITS Asia/Pacific Nanjing, China
tbc REAAA NZ Chapter AGM tbc
tbc RCA Forum Wellington
27 - 28 7th Annual Transport NZ summit & expo Auckland
1 Queen’s Birthday  
7 – 11 IFME / IPWEA International Public Works Conference Rotorua
tbc ASEC 2015 – Structural Engineering in Australasia tbc
6 – 17 School Holidays  
12 - 15 11th International Conference on Low-Volume Roads Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
tbc 2015 Local Government Committee Advisors’ Forum tbc
tbc Local Government NZ Conference tbc
28 - 31 AITPM 2015 National Traffic and Transport Conference Brisbane, Australia
30 – 1 Aug ACENZ Annual Conference Hanmer Springs
tbc RCA Forum Wellington
tbc CETANZ Conference tbc
19 REAAA Roadshow seminar Auckland
20 REAAA Roadshow seminar Taupo
21 REAAA Roadshow seminar Wellington
24 REAAA Roadshow seminar Christchurch
25 REAAA Roadshow seminar Dunedin
17 - 18 Low Volume Roads Workshop Christchurch
28 Canterbury South Anniversary Day  
28– 9 Oct School Holidays  
tbc 27th ARRB Conference Sydney
5 - 9 22nd ITS World Congress Bordeaux, France
19 - 22 100th REAAA Council Meeting Sydney
23 Hawkes Bay Anniversary Day  
26 Labour Day  
tbc NZTA/NZIHT 16th Annual Conference  
2 Marlborough Anniversary Day  
2 – 6 102nd REAAA Council Meeting Seoul, Korea
2 - 6 25th World Road Congress Seoul, Korea
13 Canterbury Anniversary Day  
tbc RCA Forum Wellington
30 Chatham Islands Anniversary Day  
30 Westland Anniversary Day  

7 - 9
Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference Newcastle, Australia
25 Christmas Day  
26 Boxing Day
Road Engineering Assn NZ Chapter
Road Engineering Assn NZ Chapter
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