From bridges to the metro: civil construction celebrated at national awards

Some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking infrastructure projects of the past year were recognized on Friday evening at the Civil Contractors New Zealand Hirepool Construction Excellence Awards.

From an 86 meter long suspension bridge over one of New Zealand’s most scenic cycling and walking routes to the tunnel under Auckland for a section of the highly publicized City Rail Link, the winning projects have all demonstrated the exceptional skill of the civil construction of Aotearoa. industry.

The awards were presented in front of a crowd of over 600 at a black-tie awards dinner held at the end of the New Zealand National Civil Entrepreneurs Conference at the Te Pae Convention Center in Christchurch.

Civil Contractors New Zealand chief executive Alan Pollard said the awards, presented in six categories, were “well-deserved recognition” for the tireless efforts of contractors who build the infrastructure that supports economic growth and vibrant communities. .

Abseil Access, headquartered in Wellington, won the Category 1 award for projects worth up to $2 million for its work on the ‘Hugo Bridge’ on the Dunstan Lake Trail. The impressive 86-meter-long suspension bridge took just four months to create, from concept design to construction completion. This is despite its relatively remote location and the need for Abseil Access to build it to withstand climatic extremes, including heavy snow loads and high winds.

The judges noted the wood and steel used in the construction of the bridge to ensure it would blend into the local environment, and commented that its $240,000 cost represented “true value for money”. .

“The social outcomes of this work as part of the Dunstan Trail has enabled a whole new cycling industry to establish itself in the area with additional support to existing hospitality and accommodation businesses.”

The award for projects worth between $5 million and $20 million went to HEB Construction for its work on the Interislander Rail Ferry Terminal Linkspan project.

The project involved undertaking urgent quay upgrades ahead of the arrival of the British ferry ‘Valentine’, which was brought in for the 2021-2022 summer holidays after the main Cook Strait ferry ‘Kaiarahi’ had suffered a gearbox failure. The wider and heavier stern of the Valentine necessitated the upgrade of the hydraulically linked vehicle and the port cargo bridge for it to dock.

The jury declared that the project was successfully completed without compromising safety, quality or the environment.

“It was truly a great outcome for customer KiwiRail, port owner CentrePort and builder HEB with the new link span operational as planned on December 24, 2021 just in time for occupancy.

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The award for projects worth between $20 million and $100 million was won by Brian Perry Civil for his modernization of the wharf in the town of Bluff.

The project was expected to be very profitable, after initial proposals from several parties in 2018 exceeded client Southport NZ’s budget. As a result, Brian Perry Civil came up with a unique alternative design that would allow the project to proceed. Project costs were further reduced through collaboration and a risk management approach which meant that risks were allocated to the party best able to manage them.

The bluff wharf upgrade was praised by the judges for its innovative contractual approach, out-of-the-box thinking and the project team’s ability to complete the work in a way that minimized disruption to tanker operations at the port .

The prize for projects worth between $20 million and $100 million went to CB Civil for the Peacocke North Transfer Lines project in Hamilton.

This was a major project involving the laying of a 5.5km twin sewage pipeline in support of a wider program of works undertaken by Hamilton City Council to provide infrastructure to more than 8,000 new homes over the next 30 years.

The judges were impressed with the collaborative and innovative approach taken by CB Civil, which resulted in cost savings and the inclusion of $5 million of additional work in the project budget.

They also noted the successful completion of the project without incident, its use of recycled and alternative materials to improve environmental results, and a year ahead of schedule.

The prize for projects worth over $100 million was won by the joint venture Downer NZ and Soletanche-Bachy for its work on the City Rail Link Contract 1 Britomart, Auckland.

This major project involved the construction of two railway tunnels starting at Britomart station and extending under the former central post office and adjacent public space.

The judges commented on the significant challenges involved in completing the work, including temporarily supporting a 14,000 tonne heritage building while the tunnel is being excavated and working in and around the busiest commuter rail station in Auckland.

Despite these challenges, the project was completed successfully and without any harm to the workers out of the more than 2.5 million hours worked.

The CCNZ Hirepool Construction Excellence Awards also included an award for excellence in maintenance and asset management. South Island civil construction and maintenance company CORDE won first place in this category for its outstanding performance on the Waimakariri road maintenance contract – a contract the company holds for 27 years.

The judges noted CORDE’s strong knowledge of the terrain and use of technology, which allows its client Waimakariri District Council to access real-time road maintenance data across the network. They also noted CORDE’s ability to allocate its maintenance efforts where it was needed most, as well as its commitment to staff training and its ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

Mr. Pollard congratulated all the winners and finalists of this year’s awards.

“It’s been a tough year, but throughout it all of our entrepreneurs have continued to do their job, and are doing it exceptionally well, as they continue to transform, connect and power our country.”

Hirepool is Civil Contractors New Zealand’s main business partner and main sponsor of the awards. Gary Richardson, Managing Director of Hirepool, said the quality of applications received this year was extremely high.

“These awards are always a highlight of the year as they provide an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the best in the industry and celebrate the skill, tenacity and ingenuity of civilian contractors across New Zealand” , did he declare.

“The commitment and expertise of this year’s winners is legendary.

Thirty-six finalists were announced from the nominations received for this year’s awards. In addition to the winners, six of the finalists received very glowing awards.

These included Universal Underground, for the installation of a new sewage pipe diverting water from the route of the City Rail Link project in Auckland; Geovert, for developing a unique stabilization solution for an embankment adjacent to a major new crossing of the Waikato River to the Peacocke development in Hamilton; and E Carson & Sons, for the emergency stormwater upgrade at Jervois Quay in Wellington.

Other highly commended recipients were Rock Control, for its work building a rockfall canopy along State Highway 1 on the Kaikoura coast; McConnell Dowell Constructors, for Westland Milk Products’ ocean outlet on the west coast of the South Island; and SouthRoads for its road maintenance work under the Southland Network Outcomes contract.

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Bonny J. Streater