Rebuilding a key transportation route is a team effort
In November 2016, the second largest earthquake in New Zealand’s settled history—a 7.8-magnitude event—destroyed the key traffic and rail route north of Kaikōura. Once the dust had settled, it was clear that this core part of the transportation network needed to be up and running as quickly as possible. Thus, an ambitious rebuild program was put in place.
As part of the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance, which managed the project, we provided engineering and project management services. This large and diverse team united the New Zealand Government, local consultants, infrastructure contractors, and key stakeholders including councils, Waka Kotahi, and KiwiRail.
Works included sluicing slips above the road with helicopter monsoon buckets to remove debris and using specialist abseil teams to assess each rock and attach rock anchors and mesh fencing. Already perched on the sea edge, the road needed to be moved closer to the ocean and away from the slip margin with new sea walls. All the rail tunnels required clearing and stabilization, and over 100 road and rail bridges needed extensive repair or replacement.
The NCTIR alliance restored a level of service in the region by rebuilding infrastructure, reconnecting communities, and futureproofing the roading and rail network.
At a Glance
- Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
- NCTIR Alliance
- Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), People’s Choice Award, 2018
- Safeguard Workplace Health and Safety, Best Collaboration Award, 2019
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