Road Engineering Assn NZ Chapter Newsletter Vol 34
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Road Engineering Assn 2014 Roadshow

Mark your diaries now!

Calling for Presentations!

Auckland - 27 August
Taupo - 28 August
Wellington - 29 August
Christchurch - 1 September
Dunedin - 2 September

2014 Roadshow Call for Papers

click for further details

Dear Members,

On behalf of the committee I would like wish you all a merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday break.

2013 has been a successful year for the chapter with a number of activities undertaken during the year. This year the chapter has undertaken the annual roadshow in the five centres, held regional forums on behalf of NZTA around the country, held a regional forum in Auckland along with the AGM and we also held the biannual Low Volume Roads (LVR) workshop in Rotorua.

The attendance at all of these events was high with over 220 attendees at the roadshow and 170 attendees at the Low Volume Roads Workshop. This shows that they are continuing to meet a need in the industry for good quality low cost training and networking opportunities. Attendance at the roadshow and LVR Workshop are getting larger year on year and we hope to continue that momentum in 2014.

I have been very fortunate to chair a committee of very talented and hardworking voluntary members that are passionate about our industry and want to ensure that knowledge is passed onto as many in the industry as possible. I wanted to thank their employers who allow them to be involved on the committee.

The same is true of the Low Volume Roads committee which is a small group of dedicated individuals that are passionate about low volume roads and their importance to our economy. Some of the committee members have been involved for over a decade and are still as passionate now as when they were first involved. Without their energy we would not be able to deliver the high quality workshop that this year’s was. Again I want to thank their employers who allow them to be involved and committed for the 18 months it takes to organise each workshop is.

The final thank you goes to Lisa Pallister, our very hardworking and dedicated secretary. Lisa provides the back office support that is vital to keep the chapter functioning and her hard work ensures that the roadshow and forums are well run and organised and ensures that we are able to keep the costs of attending as low as we do.

We have started planning next year’s events and are confident that we will be delivering an even better roadshow in late August/early September. We will have more detail in the New Year.

Merry Christmas
Brendan Bisley
Road Engineering Assn NZ Chapter Chairman


REAAA Low Volume Roads Workshop

The 8th Low Volume Roads Workshop was held in Rotorua from 18 – 20 September 2013.  As usual it was an excellent networking event.  The LVR Workshop is the one of the few opportunities for all levels of the local authority engineering sector to attend and record numbers attended this year.  In Rotorua we were able to get good numbers from the forestry sector and we had several presentations from people who work in that sector.  The technical tour covered roads around Rotorua.

The workshop was themed “Creating Connections” and this was done at many levels, as mentioned above with good input from the forestry industry as understanding their roading needs is very important. 

Timo Saarenketo and Neil Bennett enjoying the sun at the afternoon tea break on the Technical Tour organised by Rotorua DC

For the first time there were four key note speakers.  They were:

Dr Timo Saarenketo – from Roadscanners in Finland
Timo’s presentation highlighted some of the best findings of ROADEX projects and discussed how these technologies and policies could be used in New Zealand rural and forest road networks.
For the rural areas of northern Europe reliable roads are vital because they give access to housing, employment, hospitals, schools and other community facilities and provide vital transport links for the heavy industries of fishing, farming, forestry and mining. Most of these roads are low volume roads. However with traffic flows of less than 500 vehicles per day, and with little guidance available on how to keep them serviceable under the increasing numbers of heavy transports using them, the ROADEX network was created in 1998 to help fill this void with part-funding by the EU Northern Periphery Programme.

Riaan Burger – from ARRB in Western Australia
Riaan addressed some low volume road issues from Australia,
how low volume roads have developed over time in Australia; and how these roads create connections between remote, outback regions and the cities along the coast.

Glen Legere from FP Innovations in Canada
FP Innovations is a research organisation funded by the forestry sector in Canada.  Glen spoke about the challenges of building Canadian resource roads over wetlands and with poor quality in-situ materials. Solutions both from an environmental and engineering point of view were presented. These include innovative road drainage systems and designing with geosynthetics.

Dean Neilson from PF Olsen
Dean provided a road users perspective, and discussed the difficult task Road Controlling Authorities, and small rural local authorities in particular, have in balancing the competing demands of different road users, with limited resources (funding) and how this impacts on the forest industry.

A special thanks to all those that took the time to present papers and provide the very popular table topics.  Without your input the workshops would not be the success they are.

The presentations from the workshop are available to download on the Chapter's website at

Planning for 2015
With record numbers attending the 2013 workshop we feel we have the balance about right and are starting the planning for 2015 workshop.  This again falls in the same year as the International Low Volume Roads workshop which will be held in Pittsburgh, USA from 12 to 15 July.
There is some interest already in having a delegation attend from New Zealand and to include a study tour to view sites in the USA.  Keep watch of future REAAA newsletters for further information should we be able to organise a group tour.
Article kindly supplied by Neil Bennett, Fulton Hogan

Waterview Update -
Huge effort ensured project was ready to bore

Construction of New Zealand’s longest and largest road tunnels is underway in west Auckland, where the Well-Connected Alliance is building the Waterview Connection to link State Highways 20 and 16.

This major NZ Transport Agency project will deliver the final link in the Western Ring Route, a road of national significance that will provide Auckland with a much needed alternative to State Highway 1 for travel through and within the region.  It’s predicted the building will be as big a catalyst for change in Auckland as the harbour bridge was when it opened 50 years ago.

Waterview’s huge tunnel boring machine, Alice, on her way underground via a stabilised block of soft concrete built comprising piles driven from the surface before excavation of the approach trench was completed. The block was built to protect permanent works at the tunnel portal as well as the machine.

The Waterview Connection involves construction of 6.5km of six-lane motorway, 4.8km which will be underground in twin tunnels.  Construction began in January 2012 with an ambitious target to be ready to start the tunnelling at the end of October 2013.  To meet this target the Well-Connected Alliance had to complete critical and complex works including procurement of a tunnel boring machine, establishment of a pre-cast concrete factory to manufacture 4.8km of tunnel lining; preparation of the disused Wiri Quarry in south Auckland for landfilling the 800,000 cubic metres of spoil that will be excavated from the tunnels; relocation of services and a creek away from the motorway alignment; and construction of the surface motorway alignment between the current end of State Highway 20 at Maioro Street and the southern tunnel portals.  This latter task included excavation of a 45m wide, 30m deep approach trench that will carry traffic to and from the southern portals when the project is completed in early 2017 but, in the meantime, provides critical access to the tunnel works.

A huge effort by up to 800 workers ensured the work was completed and all the infrastructure and systems were in place for the launch of the project’s huge tunnel boring machine on 31 October.  Two weeks later, the TBM began the first leg of its two-year journey from Owairaka to Waterview and back.  Progress was slow as the project took the time it needed to ensure the machine came off its launch cradle and went underground safely.  In particular, the team needed to ensure the machine did not twist and that its crews were totally familiar with its workings before ramping up to production rates of around 80mm per minute.

With the TBM – named Alice – safely underground, work continues at a rapid pace on the surface to construct the links between the tunnel and the existing motorways – SH20 to the south and SH16 to the north. 

The tunnel lining segments are being manufactured in a factory built in East Tamaki by a precast alliance comprising the Well-Connected Alliance and Wilson Tunnelling.  It is believed to be the most modern and most automated precast facility in Australasia. 

Every two metres the TBM will stop and lift the concrete lining rings, segment by segment, into position with millimetre precision. Each ring is two metres wide and comprises 10 segments – nine each weighing 10 tonne and the 10th a smaller key segment to lock the ring together. 
In the north, at Waterview, the focus is on completing the northern approach trench in time for the arrival and turnaround of the TBM in October next year, and building new ramps to connect the tunnels to SH16 at the Great North Road interchange.  In January the project will launch a huge yellow gantry at the interchange for the placement of beams - yellow to show the project’s support for the Cancer Society.

In the south, work has begun to widen SH20 between Dominion Road and Maioro Street to provide a third northbound lane.

With an eye to the end of the project, there is also considerable on-going work to complete permanent drainage and to bring urban design elements up to permanent standards.  This includes permanent plantings that will have time to mature before occupied reserve land is returned to the community.

The Waterview Connection is one of five related projects to complete the Western Ring Route.  The others – located on SH16 – include interchange upgrades and highway widening to handle increased traffic volume when the Waterview tunnels are opened.  

Article kindly supplied by The Well-Connected Alliance
Member Profile - Mike Rudge, MWH New Zealand Ltd

In August this year Mike Rudge, a founding member of the NZ Chapter and former Chair of the Chapter, was back in NZ presenting at the NZ Roadshow.  
Mike is currently MWH’s Roading Manager in Fiji and on the roadshow he outlined the challenges in improving not only Fiji’s Roads but also how Fiji manages their roads.   Mike has been in Fiji for 18 months and is currently managing a team of more than 80 staff across the full range of management services for Fiji’s roads, bridges and jetties. 
Raised in Wellington Mike attended Canterbury University.  He joined the Ministry of Works in 1982 and initially worked in Wellington and Nelson on rural water supply and irrigation projects.  In 1986 Mike started to focus on roads and bridges and became responsible for driving state highway bridge replacement and realignment projects around Nelson.  Projects in that time included the then new Queen Elizabeth II Bridge in Nelson and the investigation and design of the Stoke Bypass.  In 1990 he transferred to Taupo as Branch Manager and he was also the team leader for one of the first State Highway Network Management Contracts.
At the end of 1993 he moved to Royds Consulting (Now MWH) as Invercargill Branch Manager and Transportation Sector Leader, a role he maintained for most of the next 14 years. In that time he helped grow the MWH transportation business and team to become leaders in Road Network Management and he had leadership roles in the management of Road Networks in Otago, Canterbury, Wellington, Thames and Nelson.  In that time he also led MWH’s Asset Management Services business in Asia Pacific and helped establish MWH’s Australian Transportation Business.
In 2008 Mike moved to Singapore as MWH’s Asia Managing Director and he was responsible for and worked in MWH’s Singapore, Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam, China and India businesses. 
In 2012 Mike moved to his current role in Fiji. He was attracted by both the challenge and the opportunity to work on a project where he could bring both his management and engineering experience and expertise together in a way that would make a difference for the people of Fiji.


Value for Money Epoxy OPGA

Extracting value for money from surfacing courses is an implicit objective for all Road Authorities.  The NZ Transport Agency has been collaborating with Opus and Fulton Hogan to develop an epoxy-modified open-graded porous asphalt (OGPA) with the aim of creating a low-maintenance, long-life (>30 years), low noise, surfacing material that has the potential to reduce its annual OGPA budget by 5/6.
The New Zealand laboratory studies and field trials form part of a larger collaborative research programme conducted by the OECD/ECMT (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) Joint Transport Research Centre, focused on the economic evaluation of long-life pavements.
Epoxy modified bitumen technology has been improved significantly since it was first introduced and has found a niche application in providing very long life asphalt surfacings for high deflection bridge decks. The Bay Bridge in San Francisco for example was surfaced with epoxy asphalt in 1976-77 and is still in service today (35 years later) carrying 27,000 vehicles per lane per day. Epoxy asphalts are characterised by a high modulus, fatigue resistance, resistance to permanent deformation (rutting) and damage from fuels and oil.
Recently the potential benefits of epoxy modified bitumen in asphalts for general road surfacing have been demonstrated through an OECD project involving research agencies in New Zealand, Europe and the USA. Research, funded by the NZ Transport Agency, formed part of the OECD project and focused on epoxy modified bitumen open graded porous asphalts (EMOGPA). EMOGPA was found to offer lifetimes in the field well in excess of 30 years compared with an average life of 7.5 years achieved by the Transport Agency with standard OGPA. The work resulted in successful full scale trials being constructed on the Transport Agency’s Canterbury Accelerated Pavement Testing Indoor Facility (CAPTIF) and on the State Highway 1, the Main North Road in Christchurch in 2007. Several related research projects have been completed since that time, further demonstrating the potential benefits of epoxy OGPA and in particular the potential for reducing costs by diluting commercially available epoxy binder with standard bitumen. Durability studies using oven ageing at 85°C showed that the durability of the diluted epoxy modified materials, does reduce as the percentage used is reduced, but the 25% epoxy modified materials still had a remarkable resistance to oxidation and consequently potential for very long lives.
Further test sections were placed on the Christchurch Southern Motorway in 2012 and a presentation given to the NZTA-NZIHT 2013 conference reported the optimisation and findings on manufacture and construction.
The 2012 trial confirmed earlier studies that successfully demonstrated epoxy modified OGPA can be manufactured and placed without any significant changes to practice.  The 25% EMOGPA was the cheapest and easiest to lay of the EMOPGA materials with similar handling to standard OGPA.  To ensure there are no problems with aggregate polishing leading to slippery roads over the extended life of the surfacing, EMOGPA will only be placed in mainline applications where skid resistance issues do not dominate life.
With an Economic Indicator of 4.7, the economic case for using 25% EMOGPA is compelling purely on Transport Agency costs alone.  These calculations assume a lifetime of at least 40 years for the EMOGPA. Evidence from laboratory studies and practical application of dense epoxy asphalt mixes overseas demonstrates that lives in excess of 40 years are obtainable, however it only needs to last 13 years before the whole life costs are better than standard OGPA. EMOGPA has the potential in the long term to reduce the Transport Agency’s current OPGA surfacing budget by 5/6, or alternatively provide a far greater volume of noise reducing surfaces with the same budget.

Article kindly supplied by David Alabaster, NZ Transport Agency
Dates of Interest – 2014
Date Conference Location
1-2 New Year’s Day and Day after  
20 Wellington Anniversary Day  
27 Auckland Anniversary Day  
3 Nelson Anniversary Day  
6 Waitangi Day  
10 Taranaki Anniversary Day  
17 REAAA Roadshow Call for Papers Due  
23 – 26 IPENZ Transportation Group Conference  “Transport Ingenuity – Celebrating 100 Years” Wellington
24 Otago Anniversary Day  
26 – 27 2014 RIMS / IDS Forum Christchurch
tbc RCA Forum Wellington
18 Good Friday  
21 Easter Monday  
18 – 2 May School Holidays  
20 – 22 REAAA Parent Body 99th Council Meeting Bali, Indonesia
22 Southland Anniversary Day  
25 ANZAC Day  
28 – 30 ITS Asia/Pacific Auckland
29 tbc REAAA NZ Chapter AGM tbc
26 - 27 6th Annual Transport NZ summit & expo Auckland
18 – 21 International Safer Roads Conference UK
2 Queen’s Birthday  
9 - 11 International Engineering Alliance Meeting (hosted by IPENZ) Wellington
26 - 28 2014 IPWEA NZ Conference
“Leading tomorrow’s infrastructure; collaborate, transform, deliver”
7 - 9 ASEC 2014 – Structural Engineering in Australasia Auckland
7 – 18 School Holidays  
14 – 15 2014 Local Government Committee Advisors’ Forum Auckland
20 - 22 Local Government NZ Conference Nelson
6 – 9 ACENZ, NZ Contractors & Roading NZ Joint Conference Rotorua
13 - 14 CETANZ Conference Hamilton
26 REAAA Committee Meeting Conference Call
27 REAAA Roadshow seminar Auckland
28 REAAA Roadshow seminar Taupo
29 REAAA Roadshow seminar Wellington
1 REAAA Roadshow seminar Christchurch
2 REAAA Roadshow seminar Dunedin
tbc RCA Forum Wellington
22 Canterbury South Anniversary Day  

24 – 28
Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference Christchurch
29 – 10 Oct School Holidays  
19 – 22 26th ARRB Conference Sydney
19 - 22 100th REAAA Council Meeting Sydney
24 Hawkes Bay Anniversary Day  
27 Labour Day  
tbc NZTA/NZIHT 15th Annual Conference ?
3 Marlborough Anniversary Day  
14 Canterbury Anniversary Day  
tbc RCA Forum Wellington
1 Westland Anniversary Day  
25 Christmas Day  
26 Boxing Day  
Beyond 2014    
2015 REAAA Low Volume Roads Workshop South Island
7 – 11 June 2015 Combined IFME World Congress and IPWEA Annual Conference Rotorua
2015 11th International Conference on Low-Volume Roads Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Road Engineering Assn NZ Chapter
Road Engineering Assn NZ Chapter
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