Kia ora and welcome to the Summer 2019 update from the Transmission Gully team.
Ventia is one of the largest providers of infrastructure operations and maintenance and asset management services in Australia and New Zealand. As a key subcontractor to Wellington Gateway Partnership (WGP), Ventia is proud to be providing Operations and Maintenance (O&M) services for the new Transmission Gully motorway, for the 25 years following build completion in 2020.
Key operational and maintenance, and asset management services being provided by Ventia for the Transmission Gully motorway include:
Complementing the Transport Agency’s asset management capability, Ventia’s dedicated, site-based asset management team will work closely with WGP and the Transport Agency to ensure assets are managed effectively and efficiently with minimal disruption to the end-users.
Ventia’s O&M Representative, Graeme Anderson says the O&M project team has become well established at the Lanes Flat site office, and are preparing for the dynamic operational phase.
“The team are currently focused on operational readiness, and we’re preparing a range of operative documents, which define how our O&M services are to be provided. Early in 2020, our focus will turn to physical readiness and defining the range of personnel, plant, processes and other resources that are required to ensure Ventia is ready to deliver as soon as the Transmission Gully motorway opens to the public,” says Graeme.
Unless you’ve visited or toured a quarry, chances are you don’t know much about what goes on inside one. In the simplest terms, a rock quarry is a place where little rocks are made from big rocks. Although the basic process is the same, each quarry is different.
Geography, geology and the type of stone quarried, proximity to neighbours, the size of the operation and transportation methods used to get the stone product out, all have an impact on how a quarry is designed and operated.
Willowbank Quarry, located off State Highway 58 (SH58) to the west of Judgeford, is a unique operation. What first strikes you entering the quarry, is how small the operation actually is. It has one purpose, which is to provide a specific 40 millimetre sized rock, termed ‘All passing’ or ‘AP40’ product, for the Transmission Gully motorway project.
Wellington Gateway Partnership’s CEO, Sergio Mejia says around 400,000 tonnes of AP40 will be extracted from the quarry and once processed, it will be trucked to the surrounding project areas for use in road pavement construction for the new motorway.
“Rock aside, what makes this quarry unique, is the sheer amount of environmental effort that’s been put in place, making it one of the most environmentally friendly quarries in New Zealand”, says Sergio.
Before works began, ecologists were brought in to capture lizard species, with 19 found and relocated to a temporary habitat during construction. A suitable area was found onsite at the quarry, out of harm’s way, and around 200 tonnes of rock used to construct a new boulder field habitat for the lizards. The project team monitor the new habitat, with trapping and baiting in place to control a number of pests, including mice, rats and stoats.
Several branches of streams have also been defished with 250 eels – mainly long-fin, relocated to suitable habitats down-stream within the catchment area. The water was then diverted through a series of temporary pipes, to allow for new streams to be built. Four new stream beds - totalling roughly 700 metres in length, have been constructed so far. These stream beds will provide a number of new habitats for different fish species, with different types of riparian planting for shade, and a number of natural treatments lining the new stream beds, including hemp cloth to hold plants in place, hydroseeding for grass-based stream beds, and wood and rock features.
Once construction of the new streambeds is complete, and the different ecological features are approved by an ecologist and engineers have signed off the construction works, the streams will be ‘livened’ which means that water will be released into the new streams.
This planting season, an impressive 26,700 native trees and shrubs have been planted across eight different areas of the quarry, including establishing a new area of Kanuka forest, riparian and ephemerial planting of the newly constructed streambeds and also a wetland area, along with suitable native shrubs for the Lizard habitat, and also a native screening area, to provide a natural shelter between the quarry and the lower access track.
To protect the environment further, the site has two large sediment retention ponds (SRPs). These ponds capture water runoff, which is stored in a pond, where an approved ‘flocculant’ product is added to help the sediment settle out of the water. When water is released back into surrounding waterways, it is tested to make sure that it meets environmental compliance, which is set by Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Once the new motorway is open, the quarry will close and it and its surrounding environment will be handed back to the land owner, who will have a significantly enhanced environmental asset for the future.
As we move closer to opening the new motorway and the interchanges start to take shape, we are taking a closer look at each one. In our last newsletter the spotlight was on Kenepuru, while in this edition we look at the James Cook Interchange that provides entry and exit to the Transmission Gully motorway at Whitby. Developed as a series, each of these information articles is designed to give road users details on how the interchanges will work.
Construction of the James Cook Interchange is now largely complete. The area is at sub-grade level with drainage works completed. Through summer we will complete installation of the ‘Intelligent Traffic System’ (ITS), which improves traffic efficiency by minimising traffic problems(external link). It also provides road users with information about traffic, local convenience real-time running information, and enhances road safety.
Once complete the James Cook Interchange will connect the Transmission Gully motorway to Whitby and Waitangirua via the Porirua City Council Link Roads. The link roads are being constructed by CPB HEB JV for Porirua City Council under a separate contract and will provide the community with access to the new Transmission Gully motorway once open in 2020.
Visit Porirua City Council’s website(external link) to find out more about the link roads project
Here’s how the different bridges and roundabouts work together to form the new James Cook Interchange.
Northbound traffic can exit left at the James Cook Interchange and then take three possible routes.
Southbound traffic can exit left at the James Cook Interchange and then take three possible routes.
Traffic can enter the PCC Link Road from the new Waitangirua intersection next to Maraeroa Marae, head east towards the Transmission Gully motorway and then make three choices.
Traffic can enter the PCC Link Road from the new James Cook Drive intersection, head south towards Transmission Gully and make three choices.
At the start of December:
With summer well and truly here the summer works programme is now underway. The next few months will see significant progress right across the project, with many sections of the new motorway in the final stages of completion.
There are also some important traffic switch events planned over summer, which will impact road users. We’ll keep you updated on how these switches will affect road users closer to the time.
Here’s an update from the team about what’s been happening and what’s coming up on the Transmission Gully motorway project over summer.
A productive spring has allowed the team to complete construction and pavement works for the new Paekākāriki Interchange. Pavement works continue for the section of new motorway between the interchange and where it joins the Kāpiti Expressway and are set to be complete by the end of summer.
Through summer the team will be focused on construction of the new Mackays Crossing Intersection, located beside the North Island main trunk railway line at the entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park. Works are set to be complete by the end of summer, along with all pavement works in this area.
Early next year we’ll be switching SH1 traffic (north and southbound lanes) onto a section of the new alignment to allow the team to finish the intersection and how it ties into the existing SH1 coastal route. We’ll update road users on these plans closer to the traffic switch.
Detailed earthworks have kept the construction team busy through spring with ongoing works for a number of large earth cuts and embankments through Te Puka and Horokiri valleys.
Through the Wainui Saddle, the team are now working on the last of the earth ‘batter slopes’, with these now approaching completion through this area. We’ve also finished one of the large bridges on the job, in the Te Puka Valley (Bridge 3), here massive earth walls have been built above the bridge to bring the ground levels up to alignment over the valley below.
Drainage works are ongoing with the team now working to install three cross culverts in the area, which are set to be finished by the end of summer.
Through the summer months the construction team will be focussed on completing final earth works, before progressing with building up the new section of motorway to subgrade level. Once complete, the team will then focus on final finishing works and construction of the road pavement.
A key milestone was achieved by the team this spring, with a further two permanent sections of Te Puka Stream finished.
The team are now focussed on completing the final section of Horokiri Stream before making the final connections between both streams and the new cross drains. Both permanent stream diversions are set to be completed by the end of the year.
South of the Battle Hill Farm Forest Park, the team had a productive spring season with 90 percent of the new motorway alignment through this area at sub-grade level. Construction of all the bridges through this area has also been finished.
Coming into the summer the focus will be on the last remaining sections of sub grade and sub-soil drainage before constructing the road pavement.
The four new bridges for the SH58 Interchange are complete and Paremata Haywards Road is now tied into its new alignment with SH58 just below St Joseph’s Church. This now allows us to fill the gap where the old SH58 sat and complete one of the final sections left to create the full end to end route.
Construction of the James Cook Interchange is now largely complete. The area is at subgrade level, with drainage works done. Through summer we will be finishing installation of ITS, subsoil drains and starting to construct the road pavement.
Last month the team completed the new noise wall next to Maraeroa Marae in Waitangirua. It is an impressive structure that shields the adjacent property from the new intersection. Work in this area is now focused on completing drainage as well as hauling and stockpiling aggregates in preparation for pavement constrction which will start in January.
Early next year the team will also be working on the new Warspite Avenue intersection and finishing off the final sections of earthworks and fill. If you’re traveling through the Waitangirua area you can expect to see lots of activity. Please take extra care, as there will be truck and trailers entering site from Warspite Avenue and temporary traffic management in place. We will try to keep these truck movements to a minimum.
Drainage and culvert works as well as bulk earthworks have been the focus throughout spring. The team have made great progress and the final sections cut to fill bulk earthworks are on track to be finished late December 2019. Heading into summer 2020 the big focus will be on completing drainage works and placing subgrade ahead of final pavement construction.
The link roads are being constructed by CPB HEB JV for Porirua City Council under a separate contract and will provide the community with access to the new Transmission Gully motorway once open in 2020.
Visit Porirua City Council’s website(external link) to find out more about the link roads project.
The team have made great progress over spring on the Bridge over Cannons Creek, with the bridge’s massive concrete deck now completely poured. Summer will see the team focus on installing and pouring the final sections of the side protection barriers and bringing the bridge abutments up to the road level. Once this is complete the entire route can be accessed by construction traffic end-to-end.
Heading south from the Bridge over Cannons Creek towards Kenepuru, the team has completed installing longitudinal drains. The team continues to install sub-base and base course material ready for surfacing works early next year. Landscaping and planting works are also complete in this area.
Check out this drone flyover of construction works underway at the end of November. Starting at SH58, the team heads south along the alignment, finishing at the Kenepuru Interchange.
The team remain focused on the Kenepuru Interchange, with construction works well underway for the southbound on and off-ramps. The focus moving into summer is on completing the on and off ramps which includes pavements, final seal, fencing installation, roadside barriers and surface drainage.
Preparaton works for the Kenepuru Drive roundabout are progressing well with ground levels being built up to tie into the local road. The two retaining walls that support the roundabout and the approach to the new bridge were finished through spring. The team are now starting to install embankment fill on top of the walls and above this, a preload to the bridge approach will be placed. The preload artificially quickens the embankment settlement and will be in place for 2 months while we monitor any settlement on the wall faces. While the preload is in place, drainage works for the new roundabout will start with some works occurring on Keneperu Drive to tie into existing and new drainage.
The big focus for the coming summer season is finishing off the earthworks and subgrade construction and preparing for pavement to come through the interchange and link road. Pavement has commenced north of the interchange and will continue for the next month through to Christmas as we make our way up to Bridge 20 and back.
Another milestone was achieved at the southern end of the project, with the final set of 8-piles completed for the new Collins Avenue overbridge. The team are now working on the abutments which also involve some ground improvement works in Arthur Carmen Park as well as retaining wall construction on both sides of Collins Ave. Bridge girders will be installed in December and may involve some overnight road closures on Collins Avenue while we do the main lifts.
In January the team focus is on completing the bridge deck and finishing the noise wall in this area ahead of switching northbound SH1 traffic onto the new bridge in the first quarter of 2020. We’ll have more information about this closer to the time. We’ll also have details of a fun community event planned for Term 1, 2020 with Linden School to paint the new noise wall (school side) with a mural.
The team achieved a major milestone this planting season, with a whopping 853,026 native species planted across the project. Over 60 percent of the project’s planting is now in the ground.
Because we’re planting in open and bare ground, the team plant a range of native ‘colonising species’ first. These hardy plants grow and establish a good environment and canopy for other plants that need more shelter to grow and thrive beneath. Colonising species planted this season include Kanuka, Koromiko, Karamu, Cabbage tree, Wineberry, Harakeke and Mountain flax.
Once these plants have established, ‘enrichment planting’ with species that need more shelter, such as Tawa, Nikau, Rewarewa, and Kahikatea will take place.
The focus for the team through summer will be on maintaining species planted over the winter months. They’ll be hard at work weed spraying, hand weeding, collecting rubbish and generally monitoring things to make sure the different plant species are thriving. As most are planted during the winter months in wetter conditions with a good mulch cover, watering is generally not needed through summer.
Pest control is also in full swing with a number of trapping methods used, all designed to protect our native flora and fauna.
With the final summer season of earthworks underway, dust from the site is a common concern for us and our neighbours. With large areas of the site now finished and planting well advanced we’re expecting this summer to be a much easier season to manage. However, there are still a number of ongoing activities we undertake to manage dust. These include:
We monitor our activities which means we:
We encourage you to contact us at any time on 0800 84 4636 (0800 TG INFO) or email us at email@example.com if you have any concerns or queries about dust. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
The Transmission Gully project is leading the way in safety for workers on site through innovative technology designed to prevent collisions between machinery and ground staff on construction sites. The use of sensors that detect the reflective strips found on high-visibility safety vests, mean everyone on site, including visitors and subcontractors, is detectable and safe.
Wellington Gateway Partnership’s CEO, Sergio Mejia, says the innovative technology, which was trialed with success on the Transmission Gully project last year, adds another layer of protection for workers on the job.
“The formation of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to deliver the Transmission Gully motorway has provided many positive benefits, including the development of, and having access to innovative technology,” says Sergio.
The new motorway site provided an opportunity for NZ company Seen Safety and the TG project team to work together on field-testing the Infrared Retro-reflector Identification System (IRIS) Detect product, which is aimed at keeping workers safe.
IRIS Detect is a type of pedestrian detection technology designed to prevent collisions between machinery and ground staff on construction sites. Sensors detect the reflective strip found on high-visibility safety vests, meaning everyone on site, including visitors and subcontractors are detectable by default.
Seen Safety’s NZ Sales Manager, Hamish Clark, says IRIS Detect has some unique benefits over traditional pedestrian detection systems.
“IRIS Detect recognises the reflector strips within high-vis vests, meaning that the system conforms to the user, or in this case anyone who is wearing a high-vis vest. The most significant advantage of this technology over most other industrial pedestrian detection systems is that “it doesn’t require ground staff to carry an electronic tag or change their behavior in any way,” says Hamish.
Sergio explains that as the Transmission Gully motorway is a very busy construction site with over 600 people and more than 200 items of machinery at work on any typical day, IRIS Detect will help to further improve site safety.
“The potential for interaction between people and machinery is ever present. If we can add another layer of protection in managing our critical hazards, in a practical way, then we should explore those options”, says Sergio.
Sensors mounted on machinery continuously emit pulses of non-visible light into blind spots around the machine. The driver receives an audio-visual alert when someone is detected in the blind spot.
Field trials were carried out last year at the Transmission Gully motorway site on an articulated mobile crane. These cranes are often used in areas where there are staff on foot in the immediate area and the machine is often reversing as part of its normal activities.
Due to the success of the trials, the technology was installed on one of our small ‘Telehandlers’ which are pieces of equipment often used in laydown areas for loading and unloading trucks, and just recently we’ve had IRIS Detect installed on two of our paving machines and rollers. These different pieces of machinery involve a significant amount of reversing and where the operator’s vision is limited.
As part of our current Health and Safety practices, all workers are removed from machinery operating zones to eliminate interaction, however this technology gives another layer of protection to help the operator by notifying them of workers on foot who may have unintentionally wandered into the operating area or into one of their blind spots.
“It’s important that we promote and support this sort of technology. We’re always looking at ways to improve what we do, and if, as an industry, we don’t support development of innovation, we are the poorer for it. We’re also proud to be working with WorkSafe NZ on a case study, which profiles the benefits of the technology for the project, in the hope that others in the construction industry follow suit”, says Sergio.
The community is a big part of our project. With 27 kilometres to cover, we’re committed to keeping our neighbours updated and we’re always out and about talking to people about what we’re doing in their area.
It’s been a busy few months for the community team, who’ve been working with the wider project team to update the local community on progress, attending community meetings, events and giving presentations to a number of groups.
We also make sure our neighbours are the first to know about works that will impact on them and talk about how we can help minimise the effects of our work.
In October, we headed along to ‘Spring into Tawa’, a fantastic event organised by the local community and where our mobile visitor centre is located until December. We had a great turnout, and some interesting visitors on the day.
We asked some of the community about the new motorway and here’s what they had to say.
At the start of November, the community team and senior members of the wider Transmission Gully project team attended the Pautahanui Lamb and Calf Day and spent time talking to neighbours about the work we’re doing. We had some great feedback, and of course loads of interesting questions about our works, and some great answers to what they’re looking forward to most when the new motorway opens.
In December, our mobile visitor centre will be heading to Battle Hill Farm Forest Park. In January, we’ll be heading along to Eat, Drink and Be Crafty and Battle Hill Farm Forest Park open day events, so why not come along and meet the team and check out the latest progress for the new motorway.
Check out the project’s image gallery to view the latest photos of the motorway from the air and on the ground.
Visit our video library to see animated videos of the Interchanges and innovative construction works for the project.
Don’t forget to tell your friends and family to sign up(external link) to receive the latest project news.
We hope you enjoy reading these updates, and we’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments or story suggestions, you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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