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Awards confirm that minimising environmental impacts of projects is a key focus for the NZ Transport Agency


Two NZ Transport Agency projects have been recognised recently for their high degree of environmental compliance, each winning an award from the Waikato Regional Council for achieving a high quality of erosion and sediment control on earthworks.

The Te Rapa Alliance Waikato Expressway project won for 'best practice'; and the Atiamuri Bridge Replacement project won for 'innovative practice'.

NZTA Projects Service Manager, Bryce Carter, says that both awards reflect the effort the Agency is making to minimise the environmental impacts of its construction projects. "We acknowledge that our projects can have significant effects on the environment - sediment run off is a particular concern. That's why we put a lot of emphasis on minimising environmental effects during and after construction," says Mr Carter.

Mr Carter says the awards for Te Rapa and for Atiamuri recognise how our projects can be adapted to take account of extremely sensitive environments, making ongoing improvements to processes along the way. "We are delighted with the work our project teams are doing in achieving this goal."

This year the awards were handed out at the International Erosion Control Association (Australasia) conference dinner, in Hamilton on July 23. The regional council's land and soil programme manager Grant Blackie said the awards acknowledged the "excellent examples of best practice, innovation and compliance with resource consent conditions". Mr Blackie said the council also acknowledged the huge part played by all contractors on these sites. "All parties who have been involved in making these sites a success are to be congratulated."

The Te Rapa Alliance consists of the NZ Transport Agency, Fulton Hogan Ltd and Opus International Consultants Ltd. The Atiamuri Bridge Replacement is an NZTA project which is being built by contractors HEB Construction Ltd.

Te Rapa

The Te Rapa Alliance team puts its success down to good planning and implementation of recognised best practice. The win is no fluke - it's the second year the team has won this award for the project. Particularly innovative approaches developed by the project's sub-contractors and suppliers included the use of a silt 'cloak', a clean water kerb and a channel diversion along with the use of de-watering bags. The project's stormwater retention ponds are another key part of minimising environment effects from this project.

Atiamuri Bridge

The Atiamuri Bridge construction site is an especially challenging one for the team in terms of environmental management, as it's bounded by Lake Ohakuri, the Waikato River and the Mangaharakeke Stream. The stream is considered to be the most sensitive of the three waterways to potential environmental impacts. This aspect was recognised in the team's innovative approach to constructing the project's sediment ponds to ensure these waterways were protected from sediment runoff.

More information

The Atiamuri Bridge Replacement project webcams can be viewed online along with project updates, photos and other information on the project's NZTA webpages at

Information on the Waikato Expressway project is available on the NZTA website at or on the Waikato Expressway Facebook page at link).

Photos - Atiamuri Bridge replacement project

Certificate of Atiamuri award

The Atiamuri Bridge Replacement project team accepts the award from Waikato Regional Council's Grant Blackie. Left to right - Grant Blackie; Shane Wilton (HEB Construction Project Manager): Mathew Hills (NZTA Project Manager); Bryce Carter (NZTA Projects Service Manager); Jess Battaerd (HEB Construction Site Engineer).

Sediment pond on construction site

Photo - Te Rapa Section, Waikato Expressway

Stormwater retention pond at Horotiu Interchange - Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway