Earthworks underway at Pūhoi to Warkworth
Oct 19, 2017
The Ara Tūhono Pūhoi to Warkworth project (P2W) is a Private Public Partnership (PPP) which The Northern Express Group (NX2) is delivering on behalf of the NZ Transport Agency. The project is one of the Government's Roads of National Significance and is scheduled to open for traffic by late 2021. The $709.5 million project will extend the four-lane Northern Motorway (SH1) 18.5km from the northern end of the Northern Gateway Toll Road at the Johnstone's Hills Tunnels, to State Highway 1 south of the Kaipara Flats Road intersection, north of Warkworth.
While rain over the last few months has provided its challenges, the earth moving machines are now firing up as the team enter the first earthwork season.
This earthworks season is expected to last until April 2018 with work on three sites: North of Perry Road, between Perry Road and Moir Hill Road, and from Moir Hill Road to Watsons Road.
At its core P2W is an earthworks project, with the equivalent of 4,800 Olympic-sized swimming pools of earth to be moved.
7 million cubic meters of cuts, 5 million cubic meters of fill and 1.5 million cubic meters of rock will be excavated.
The aim is to complete 20 percent of the required earthworks during this first season.
Giving the crews a hand is Terex, a 54-tonne rock crusher. Terex will extract and crush rocks fractured from the July 2017 trial rock-blasts. This will reduce the deliveries of rock by up to 21,000 truck and trailer units over the next four years.
Other activities underway onsite include: building culverts, establishing access roads and staging areas for bridges, constructing retaining walls, diverting streams, strormwater ponds and road construction and sealing.
Ground improvement works in the northern area will also continue, including pre-loading a section of the alignment to see how it settles, establishing a project site office in the southern area, continuing environmental monitoring and working closely with iwi.
With all of the action on site, fresh water wildlife is also being moved. The treasured native longfin eels have been caught and reloacted over the last few weeks. Electric fishing along with netting has been used to keep them out of harm's way.