Slowly the pieces to the puzzle that is the Waikato Expressway are coming together as new sections of the 102km project from Bombay to south Cambridge are being opened - the latest being Rangiriri which will be complete by the end of 2017. Construction on the Rangiriri section began in 2013 when Fletcher Construction was awarded the main contract for the work. The project starts immediately north of the SH1 intersection at Te Kauwhata and follows a new alignment closer to the Waikato River, joining the completed Ohinewai section south of Rangiriri. It features an array of products from CSP Pacific’s range – more than 20 kilometres of road barrier, 185 lighting columns and a Steel Multiplate culvert which has been used to protect the battle trench of the culturally and historically significant Rangiriri Pa site.
Steel Multiplate protects historic site
From the start the engineers knew that the project was located on the site of the historic 1863 battle of Rangiriri, part of the New Zealand land wars. The existing route for SH1 cut through the Rangiriri Pa and battle site so the new highway alignment has been designed to go around the main battle site.
The NZ Transport Agency assisted with the reinstatement of the Pa site as well as installing an arch culvert under the new alignment to mark the location of the battle trench which ran from the Pa to the Waikato River.
“We were asked to provide a low radius, 67m galvanized Steel Multiplate arch structure for the Pa site,” says Mo Yang, Product Support Engineer for CSP Pacific. “The arch has a 7.4m span x 1.9m rise which is very shallow due to the road level and backfill depth limitations.”
“The biggest issue we had was that the level of the arch was about one metre below the water table with the sand, under the arch, put there to protect the battle ground,” says Adam Farrell, Project Engineer from Fletcher Construction. “We worked closely with CSP Pacific and eventually we got it back filled.”
Armorwire – the easiest and quickest WRB system
With the road re-alignment complete it was time for the road safety barrier to be installed. “We have been involved in various sections of the Expressway for the past 10 years or so,” says Daniel Hoskins from Hoskins Contractors, the barrier installation contractor appointed to install more than 20 kms of road barrier systems. “It was mostly pretty standard stuff except that there were various sections where the ground was very soft. I had previously been involved in developing a revised footing for the Armorwire Wire Rope Barrier on a Safe Roads job. So I suggested it for this location. MWH revised the plans and we used this footing where it was required.”
The original estimation of barrier for the project was 11kms of Armorwire but by completion a total of 14.2kms of Armorwire and 7kms of Nu-Guard® 31 Guardrail System, along with a couple of TAU II crash cushions, had been installed.
|“I find Armorwire the easiest and quickest to install of all the Wire Rope Safety barriers out there,” adds Daniel. “Armorwire is a really good system.”|
Let there be lots of light
While the barrier was being installed in median and side of road applications Site Manager Peter Brenndorfer and his team from McKay were busy installing Oclyte® Streetlight Columns from CSP Pacific. “We have been involved in other sections of the Waikato Expressway over the last three years, namely Cambridge to Tamahere, so there were no real surprises for us on the Rangiriri section as CSP Pacific columns were used on both,” says Peter “We have worked with CSP Pacific for years so the supply of the 185 Oclyte® Streetlight Columns - slim-line median and side of road - was all pretty straightforward.”
|“This project was a real success story for us,” says Bruce Stephens, Sales Engineer - Barriers & Structures for CSP Pacific. “Our products were specified across the whole project by Fletcher Construction and MWH, the consulting engineers used for the project. It showcases our barrier range, crash cushions, Oclyte® Streetlight Columns and a Steel Multiplate, so it was pleasing for us to see this section opened and all our products in use.”|