A number of major transport projects in Tāmaki Makaurau will resume today (Wednesday September 22) after last night’s move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3. However, southern and northern border checkpoints will remain in place with the rest of New Zealand in Alert Level 2.
When the country moved to Alert Level 4 in August, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency put all non-essential state highway maintenance and project work on hold. Only essential maintenance and work ensuring security, safety, and environmental protection of sites was permitted at Alert Level 4.
“Tāmaki Makaurau is seen as the frontline in the defence against the delta variant of COVID-19 and so it’s critical the health and safety of our workers and road users remains the top priority for Waka Kotahi,” says Andy Thackwray National Manager Infrastructure Delivery.
“We’ve assessed the risks, working closely with our contractors on individual COVID-19 plans for each of our worksites, and we’re confident that by following the new Health Order and strict industry standards provided by Construction Health and Safety NZ (CHASNZ), our staff can safely carry out work.”
The plans include standards and guidelines for pre-planning work, documenting the health and safety of staff, maintaining safe physical distancing, cleaning of all plant, tools and vehicles, and quickly and accurately tracing people if they come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
“Infrastructure plays a vital role in New Zealand’s economic recovery so it’s important that work continues. However, construction is just one part of this and many of our teams have continued planning and design work throughout evel 4 and will continue to do so from home,” says Andy Thackwray.
Getting back on-site will be different for each project and timings will depend on the nature and complexity of worksites. Some on-site activity can start back up straight away, while other sites and projects may take some time to be fully operational.
From Wednesday our staff and contractors will be preparing to resume works on the following projects:
Waka Kotahi has been assisting Police with traffic management of border checkpoints and this will continue under Level 3.
Critical maintenance work will also resume as we head into the drier season to help ensure we continue to provide a safe, efficient and accessible state highway network over the next 12 months.
“Maintenance operations will use similar COVID-19 plans to keep our workers and the communities we work in safe. We’d like to remind people travelling through our worksites to please be patient and respectful of our workers who are stepping outside of their bubbles to do vital work to keep everyone safe on our roads.”
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