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Grafton Gully gets Top Construction Award

Grafton Gully gets Top Construction Award

Auckland ’s State Highway 16 Grafton Gully motorway project was recently announced the winner of the prestigious Caltex Construction Awards Open Class. This is the highest accolade for what are regarded as the showcase awards in civil construction in New Zealand .

Recognising environmental and engineering excellence, health and safety, client and public satisfaction, quality, timeliness and innovation, the award was presented to the Freeflow alliance comprising Transit New Zealand , Beca, Fletcher Construction and Higgins Contractors.

Chief Caltex Construction Award judge, Paul Adams, said a special factor considered was Grafton Gully’s delivery under budget. “This was a complex and multi faceted construction that would have had a huge impact on the public if delays had occurred. The alliance got high marks in all areas and Transit must be very pleased with the outcome,” said Mr Adams.

With Transit as the lead partner, Freeflow pioneered the alliancing approach to the delivery of major engineering works in New Zealand by connecting the Central Auckland motorway system to the CBD and port, while improving the city centre connection with Auckland Hospital and the Domain.

Included in the $67M project were the construction of a new interchange at Wellesley Street and the upgrading of Stanley Street . New structures included the Wellesley Street Bridge , the Grafton Road Bridge and the new railway bridge at the corner of Stanley and Ronayne Streets. Between them, the bridges cater for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and trains.

In support of the award, Transit Chief Executive, Rick van Barneveld, said the Freeflow team had proved that the project alliance mechanism (which is also being used to deliver the Northern Motorway extension project from Orewa to Puhoi) would pave the way to new levels of relationship contracting in New Zealand .

“Transit is delighted with this outcome as we will be a big benefactor of the enhanced relationships. “It is also very satisfying to see a legacy created that we can all be proud of,” said Mr van Barneveld.

Environmental and social concerns were a high priority from the inception of the Grafton Gully project. As a result, new environmental and social management techniques were employed, delivering benefits beyond the normal scope of road construction projects.

Urban design played a significant role in remodelling Grafton Gully and, as well as upgrading the roading and pedestrian network, account was taken of cultural, heritage and urban design values. Input from stakeholders, including iwi and the local community is reflected in public artwork, planting, landscaping and archaeology.

Transit Regional Manager, Wayne McDonald, explained that part of the project included building Auckland ’s largest sedimentation tank. During the project, the tank captured and treated run-off from the site, while - post construction - Transit connected the tank to Auckland City Council’s stormwater pipe, to ensure high quality treatment of run-off from the Gully into the Waitemata Harbour . “By constructing the sedimentation tank as part of the project we were able to minimise disruption for the local community and deliver significant cost savings,” he said.

Mr McDonald said that by demonstrating a responsible and proactive approach to environmental management, Transit was permitted by the Auckland Regional Council to continue working through winter, which enabled the project to be delivered ahead of time and under budget.

* Other awards received by the Grafton Gully Project include:

- Joint winner Public Archaeology Award 2002-2003

- Safety Award 2004, Supreme winner

- Bearing Point Innovation Awards 2003. (Highly commended for innovation in the

public sector, and highly commended for management of innovation.)

- IPENZ Authur Mead Memorial Environmental Award 2004

- ACENZ Gold Award, 2004

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