Press Release – Auckland Transport
Auckland Transport’s East Coast Road Widening project was a winner at the 2011 Roading NZ Excellence Awards this week.
The $10.7 million East Coast Road upgrade – delivered by Auckland Transport and contractors Fulton Hogan, Resolve Group and GHD – won the Medium Road Project category of the national awards against some stiff competition from around the country, including the SH2 Matahorua Gorge realignment (Napier), SH1 Ohingaiti to Makohine realignment (Rangitikei) and Pyes Pa bypass (Tauranga).
Auckland Transport CEO David Warburton says a proactive approach was taken by the entire team to ensure a successful outcome for what was a challenging construction project.
“The project was always going to be a challenging one, covering a 1km stretch of road in a built-up residential area, right outside the biggest high school in Australasia, with traffic flows hitting an average 22,000 vehicles per day on week days and up to 30,000 on weekends due to the proximity to popular North Shore beaches,” he says.
“The team’s focus was always on solutions and looking for better and more efficient ways of completing the works. This saw the project completed six months ahead of schedule and about $1.5 million under budget. That’s no mean feat and those involved deserve the national recognition they have achieved for delivering a “best practice” roading project under challenging conditions.”
The upgrade of East Coast Road (between Hastings and Rosedale Rds) improved traffic flow and safety on the busy arterial route by widening the roadway to provide two traffic lanes in each direction, providing a new centre median to improve access in to and out of properties and dedicated cycle lanes in each direction.
Other project features included wider footpaths, new kerb and channel, improved street lighting, safety improvements to the intersections and traffic lights near Rangitoto College and Windsor Park Shops car park, improved stormwater systems, six retaining walls, brand new road surfaces and the relocation and upgrade of existing underground services.
Dr Warburton says the end result is improved safety for all users of this stretch of road, including the thousands of motorists and school children who navigate it every day.
“It was imperative that we worked closely with our contractors to get in and out of there as quickly as possible with the minimum of disruption. As a result, the project employed a number of time-saving construction initiatives, while focussing on excellent environmental care and communication with affected residents, businesses and Rangitoto College staff and families.
Auckland Transport and Fulton Hogan worked together to amend the initial retaining wall construction and road surface designs to allow faster and cheaper construction.
Environmental considerations were also a priority, leading to Winter Works permits being granted so construction could fast-track through the rainy months. These permits are only granted if the contractor can show that all environmental controls are in place and the site is being managed correctly.
Stakeholder communication was also a priority – with weekly updates, consultation events and presentations offered to those impacted by the works, including the 2,000 strong congregation of the Windsor Park Church and the 3,000-plus roll of Rangitoto College.