At the heart of the four-year Newmarket Connection Project is a four-stage replacement of the Newmarket viaduct motorway flyover, with a wider, stronger, more sustainable new structure which includes lighting columns from CSP Pacific.
Constructed in 1965 the Newmarket viaduct structure was showing signs of age, exacerbated by Auckland’s increasing traffic and the 160,000 vehicles crossing it daily. The new viaduct will be seismically strong enough to withstand a 1:2500 year earthquake, employ vastly superior noise attenuation measures and able to accommodate heavy vehicles currently banned from crossing it.
The decision to replace, rather than retrofit the existing viaduct, was made in 2002 and took into account criteria such as environmental sustainability, construction impacts, timeframes, costs and likely benefits.
A staged approach to construction has allowed the NZTA to improve motorway capacity midway through the replacement project and keep traffic moving in both directions throughout.
Stage 1, the new four-lane southbound bridge was opened in September after the NGA closed the southbound lane allowing for the movement of their big blue gantry crane to the middle section of the construction site.
|Stage 2 will see the southbound half of the existing viaduct dismantled to make way for stage 3, the second half of the new bridge.|
|Stage 4 will see the removal of the remaining parts of the original bridge (the old northbound lanes) leaving the new bridge to stand-alone.|
“The design and build brief for the 20 lighting columns for the southbound lanes was to make the columns look unobtrusive and for them to have clean lines to blend into the structure,” said Craig Kitchen, Area Sales Manager - Columns for CSP Pacific. “The mount design was quite involved as it meant we had to allow for the slope of the parapet to ensure they were structurally sound and that the look fitted the brief.”
With the date set for the closure of the southbound lanes and the Auckland public warned well in advance of its closure, the pressure was on the NGA to have the new section of the viaduct ready for the opening. Leslie Hilton, Project Engineer for the NGA explains, “there was considerable pressure on the Alliance to have the viaduct ready due to the fact we were closing SH1 on a set day. This included CSP Pacific who had to design, manufacture and supply the mounts and the lighting columns ready for installation in time for the opening. They pulled through remarkably well. We are very grateful that they gave our project priority and pulled out all the stops to get everything to us on time. I certainly appreciated their ability to adapt. Without the columns installed and working the compliance certificate would not have been issued and the viaduct could not have opened. Thankfully we all made it.”
Paul Kriletich, Department Manager – Lighting and Power for Fulton Hogan says, “the installation went really well and CSP Pacific went out of their way to help us, as usual. We do a lot of work with them and know them really well.”
“It was a good design and build project for us,” added Craig. “We are really happy with the result and look forward to working with Leslie and Paul to repeat the process for the northbound lanes.”