Anyone that has travelled on State Highway 1 north of Auckland will know that traffic congestion is part of the journey. It’s just over 12 months since work on one of the country’s largest motorway projects in recent years started on the Pūhoi to Warkworth project - much to the relief of Northlanders and anyone heading north on a regular basis. The project is progressing well with hundreds of people - workers on the ground and those behind the scenes and in the office - working hard to ensure the new four-lane motorway is ready by the 2021 estimated completion date.
The Northern Express Group (NX2) has started the project off on the right foot by ensuring that not only will they produce a safe, new corridor for the region by 2021 but they will ensure the safety of the hundreds of people working on the project and local residents that use nearby side roads, while under construction, with the installation of road safety barriers to NZ Transport Agency M23: Specification for Road Safety Barrier Systems.
“We are often involved in large projects like this, but more often than not we are on site towards the end of the project - when works are nearing completion - to add safety features,” says Bruce Stephens, Sales Engineer from CSP Pacific. “This project actually involves the building of more support/access roads (roads used in the construction of the finished motorway) than the actual completed motorway itself. These access roads provide a link between the current SH1 and the new project sites. As you travel along SH1 from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels north to Warkworth you will see numerous site access points which allow the contractors to access the project. All these sites have been designed with safety in mind for all parties involved - both contractors and the public - so they have all have been protected with our road safety barrier. We have been working with G Skelton Contracting Ltd who have done a fantastic job on this project so far.”
“Our link to this project comes through Wharehine Contracting as we are their sub contactor for barrier installation and repairs in the area,” explains Erin Skelton from G Skeleton Contracting and wife to Glyn who runs their four-man team at various work sites. “We were asked by Wharehine Contracting to complete the installation of sections of CSP Pacific’s Nu-Guard® 31 Guardrail System, with X-350 Terminal Ends, on the lead-in to two access roads to the main work site which went without any hitches.”
“We have worked with CSP Pacific since we bought the business a few years ago and both Glyn and I have been very happy with the support and advice they give us. We are very happy to work with Bruce and the CSP Pacific team and wouldn't work with anyone else.”
Ray Wilson CEO for NX2 commented that, “on a project as large and challenging as this, safety is key. We would like to remind all that come to site that safety is a constant effort on all our parts – everyone has a role to play in watching each other’s back, identifying and managing risks, and ensuring a healthy, safe and incident-free work environment. Meeting our safety goals must be an ongoing part of continuous improvement by all.”
The Pūhoi to Warkworth project will extend the four-lane Northern Motorway (SH1) 18.5km from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels to just north of Warkworth. It is the first stage of the Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford project. By delivering a more efficient, resilient and safer connection between Pūhoi and Warkworth, the new motorway will improve journey times (especially during peak holiday periods and weekends) and freight efficiency, driving regional economic growth.
The new motorway will also eventually feature wire rope barrier along the median of the motorway. Unlike concrete barriers, when a vehicle hits these barriers the high-tension wire cables flex, slowing down the vehicle and redirecting it away from the hazard. The wire rope barrier absorbs impact energy, reducing the force on the people in the vehicles, resulting in less severe injury to the vehicle occupants.