To infinity and beyond!

People say the East Coast of the North Island is a world of its own. Little surprise, then, that the Fulton Hogan team there should go a little ‘out of this world’ from time to time.

This image of the road to the tip of Mahia Peninsula, just resealed by Fulton Hogan, is taken from an altitude almost 3000 metres higher than the summit of  Mount Everest and at a speed 17 times the legal road speed of a Fulton Hogan truck.

That’s 11.7 kilometres up, at 1,514 km/h. The flames might be a bit of a give-away – the picture is taken from a RocketLab rocket that is taking another satellite into space.

The road is the access to RocketLab’s launch site on the peninsula, and the picture is courtesy of RocketLab’s Twitter feed.

“There’s nothing quite like a rocket for a wide angle view. Unfortunately not every Fulton Hogan project has one on stand-by for this purpose,” Fulton Hogan’s East Coast contracting manager Rick Gardner says.

The sealing is part of a $6 million collaboration with the Wairoa District Council’s contracting division Quality Roading Services (QRS), and WSP, for road improvements around the Mahia peninsula. Rick says the partnership has been a winner.

“As well as being able to play to our strengths, working together has meant we could accelerate the project start-up, saving months of time often spent on red tape and process,” Rick says.

“Working to our strengths and sticking to our knitting is certainly my preference and, in this case, it’s worked particularly well, with QRS doing the earthworks and drainage and Fulton Hogan doing the pavement and sealing. Much of the project’s success is down to the attitudes and behaviours of all parties involved. Basically, we’re a bunch of good buggers working together to get the job done to a high standard.”

QRS’s capital manager Mike Wilson has a long relationship with the Mahia area, a sleepy beach-side holiday settlement and farming area that’s suddenly leapt several decades into the space age.

“My grandmother had a bach in Mahia from the 1920s and about a decade ago my dad moved there permanently. So, as a family, we spend a lot of time on that Mahia East Coast Road,” he says.

“It’s always been challenging and you’d never know what was coming around those winding corners. These days you might even be confronted by a rocket on a truck,” Mike says.

“Working to make it safer for everyone has been really rewarding.”

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