Eight Fulton Hogan staff from the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway have volunteered to use their earthworks skills to help with the Kaikoura rebuild works over winter. Six operators have arrived in Kaikoura bringing with them 30-tonne dump trucks on long-term hire from Porter Hire. A Fulton Hogan Site Engineer and Quality Engineer will arrive this week.
Huntly project earthworks won’t restart until the new season in October as the site is too wet to work the Greywacke clays over winter.
So the project was able to respond to a call from the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) which is responsible for the repairs to SH1 and the rail line to the north and south of Kaikoura needed after last November’s 7.8 earthquake.
The new crew are all working on major slips north of Kaikoura – two are assisting north of Oahu Point, while the other four are on the southern side. Their contribution is already bearing results – with a new daily record of 7000 cubic metres of material cleared earlier this month, the best total since the massive task began.
NCTIR’s Earthworks Operations Manager Gary Ikin says it’s fantastic to have more resources to help with the earthworks and it was pleasing to be able to draw on more expertise and machines from a company within the NCTIR alliance.
Huntly Project Director Tony Dickens says when the call came, there was no trouble finding volunteers. “This is a great outcome for all parties involved. Some of our project earthmoving machines are being used during the winter when they usually sit idle and the rebuild project gains a skilled team of earthmovers when they are most needed.”
The assistance will end in late September because there is still over one million cubic metres of earth to move on the Huntly Project.
It’s estimated that the Government will spend as much as $1-2 billion rebuilding the coastal route and expects that much of this work will be done by the end of 2017.