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Final stage of work on SH60 Takaka Hill underway


A contract to complete the last five big repair sites on State Highway 60, Takaka Hill, significantly damaged by Cyclone Gita in 2018, has been awarded to construction company Downer by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

Trees and debris cover Takaka Hill on State Highway 60 blocking the road

Just one of the many slips which closed Takaka Hill, SH60, temporarily

Ten minor sites damaged in the early 2018 storm were repaired and completed by mid-2019.

About $20 million of funding has been provided by the Transport Agency for the entire Takaka Hill emergency response and recovery, which includes around $12 million for repairs to the five last major sites this summer.

Transport Agency Project Manager for Takaka Hill Chris Robertson says Downer will now undertake essential planning and preparation work before rolling out the heavy machinery, allowing the team to complete the physical works safely and efficiently.

“This will help speed up the construction process and reduce unnecessary disruption. By completing planning and design up-front, it means construction can continue without requiring significant road closures or major changes for Takaka Hill road-users,” he says.

“The remaining five sites are all significant pieces of work with geotechnical risks, and there’s a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to help get this road back up and running and fully opened without traffic management as quickly as possible.”

Since the early 2018 Cyclone Gita storm, the hill access to Golden Bay has had one-way sections controlled by traffic signals.

The project team will now complete planning and preparation of required construction plans – for example for Health and Safety, Quality and Construction Management.  They will also be developing the ‘temporary works design’ - an essential part of the project to provide a safe working area for the team below the live carriageway.

Additional geotechnical investigations will happen as soon as possible to enable the temporary design to be confirmed prior to construction. Once construction gets underway in the New Year, there will be multiple sites under construction at once.

Repaired site on Takaha hill with wider road shoulder

One of the repaired sites with a wider road shoulder and better drainage than before

All on-site work will be paused over the busy Christmas and New Year period to reduce any impact on travel times, Mr Robertson notes. The crew will begin establishment work for the five sites in the lead-in to Christmas.

Traffic lights will remain in place for the duration of the repair work, including the holiday period, with the traffic signal system being extended further uphill to include all five major sites once construction starts. Alternating traffic flow through this section of the Takaka Hill will remain during the construction period.

The Transport Agency and the Downer contracting team thank all Takaka residents, businesses and visitors to Golden Bay for being patient and taking extra care around crews and all other road users, including cyclists and motorcyclists, while this essential reconstruction work is underway this summer.

Link to Gallery page showing more slips and progress so far: link)

Takaka Hill, SH60, project page: link)

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