Advancing Road Safety and Construction

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CSP Pacific’s Brifen WRB – already put to the test on Brynderwyns
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Principal: NZ Transport Agency
Consultant: Northern Civil Consulting Engineers
Main Contractor: United Civil Construction
Barrier installer: Hoskins Contracting
Location: Northern side of Brynderwyn Hill (SH1), Northland
Product: Brifen Wire Rope Safety Barrier
Date: June 2017

Over the years Brynderwyn Hill on State Highway 1 north of Auckland has been a notorious hot spot for motor vehicle crashes.  In late 2014 the NZ Transport Agency contracted United Civil Construction, based on a design by Northern Civil Consulting Engineers as part of the Safe System project*, to widen the road, remove tight corners and install 14kms of wire rope barrier using CSP Pacific’s Brifen WRB system – all to separate north and south bound traffic from the top to the bottom of the hill.

Just over two years later the $19 million project is complete, and proving the need for the new separation system - and its potential to avoid serious crashes - with more than 20 impacts since work began.

*What is the Safe System project?

A Safe System approach recognises that people make mistakes while driving and aims to reduce the likelihood of crashes with a focus on reducing the potential for death or serious injury. To reduce the risks the NZ Transport Agency implements ways of encouraging people to change the way they drive as well as making changes to the road environment.  Improvements may include reducing the speed limit to fit with the road environment and/or installing median and shoulder barrier protection.

Wayne Pepperell, Project Manager for United Civil Construction says that the Brynderwyn upgrade was a very large job. “Working on an existing open State Highway over such a large section of road and with all the earth works required to realign large sections of it was a pretty mammoth task for our team. And the weather wasn't overly helpful at times either,” he says.

To complete the safety improvements United Civil Construction entrusted Daniel Hoskins, from Hoskins Contractors, to install the road safety barrier as specified by the NZ Transport Agency.

Head-on and run-off-the road crashes account for 75% of crashes on rural state highways. The work entailed separating north and south-bound traffic with a median barrier, and a side of the road barrier was also installed to prevent vehicles going off the road.

CSP Pacific’s Brifen Wire Rope system was chosen over others due to its interwoven cable system which is best suited to curved installations. “When the barrier is impacted the interwoven cable system ensures the tension is kept on the cables at all times, even on tight radii,” says Bruce Stephens, Sales Engineer – Auckland/Northland for CSP Pacific.

Flexible safety barriers are designed to prevent traffic leaving the road or crossing the centre line and colliding with hazards such as other vehicles, trees and poles. This creates a more forgiving road that can help avoid mistakes becoming fatal. Flexible road safety barriers 'catch' and then redirect vehicles. When a vehicle impacts the wire rope safety barrier the cables flex, slowing the vehicle and pushing it back into its lane with the system absorbing the impact.

“Working with United Civil and Northern Civil Consulting Engineers to deliver this project, has gone very well,” says Daniel. “And I have also worked with CSP Pacific many times in the past.  The ground conditions on the project have generally been very good as the United Civil Construction team created a very stable shoulder for the installation. Initially it was estimated that approximately 11 km of Brifen Wire Rope System was required but the final figure was just over 14 kms.”

“From our perspective the whole project was managed extremely well by United Civil Construction in combination with Hoskins Contractors which made my job easy,” adds Bruce.

“We were required to repair the system on quite a few occasions over the two years of the project as motorists impacted the barrier,” says Daniel. “I am very happy knowing that the finished system performs well and has been highly effective to date.”


Brifen Wire Rope System

  • Can be installed on most existing roads - without the major expense of widening the road
  • It’s more cost effective than standard guardrail
  • It’s quick to install and can be easily maintained; and
  • It has less visual impact.

For more information click here.


Brynderwyn Hill Upgrade

The project realigned the existing road to improve safety along this section of State Highway 1. Improvements included:

  • Widening the existing road
  • Removing tight corners towards the top of the hill
  • Installing a median and side of road wire rope barrier; and
  • Providing a new lookout point over the Bream Bay, Hen and Chicken Islands and the Waipu Plains.

For more information on this NZ Transport Agency project click here.


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