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Whangaparaoa Four Laning Review Released

PRESS RELEASE:


Whangaparaoa Four Laning Review Released


An independent review of the Whangaparaoa four-laning project has commended the Rodney District Council on its handling of what the review’s report describes as “a complex and sometimes frustrating” roading project.

It says the project which was planned to start only after a proposed second access route was completed and an alternative route provided for traffic, was one of the most daunting faced by any local authority.

In its report, which was presented to the Council on Thursday, Civil Engineering consultants Projenz, also says the four-laning project was hamstrung by a number of unanticipated factors, which at one stage threatened to mothball the contract, and delay completion until 2007.

The most critical factor, the report says, was a delay to the power undergrounding after cables destined for the project were destroyed in a vehicle accident prior to Christmas.

As a result contractors were forced to begin work on both sides of the road concurrently to make up lost time. The previous intent was to work on one side of the road at a time which would have presented less traffic congestion.

However, without that change, the review concludes, it would be doubtful whether the four-laning project would have been completed in 2005.

Rodney District Council’s mayor, John Law, has welcomed the report, calling it a positive and constructive benchmark document for future roading projects. He says that the report delivers a number of “valuable lessons” that all parties in such projects will find useful.

Mr Law says the report and results achieved by the road widening vindicates the council’s “hard decision” to proceed with the project despite the alternative access that would have been provided by Penlink not being available.

“The report rightly commends council officers and contractors for accomplishing a superb job under extremely challenging conditions. But I also think who must be congratulated most here is the community. For them it was extremely difficult, but they showed remarkable resolve and resilience.

“I’m pleased they got the result they wanted,” said Mr Law.

Council’s transport manager, Barry George, says the report will be closely assessed for the lessons it can teach.

He says that Projenz’ input is particularly helpful because it presents an independent and expert perspective of a very complex project.

“It’s pleasing that the report has a generally supportive management of the project by council and the contractors”, he says. “But the most valuable aspect of the report for us will be the identification of areas which we can improve on for future projects.

“And I have no doubt there are lessons to be learned,” says Mr George. “A project of this complexity cannot be accomplished without frustrations and an impact on the community. It brought out the best and the worst in us as a community but it also showed what can be done when we focus on the result and work toward that.

“In our planning and implementation of future projects, we’ll be looking to engage and involve the community and in particular ensure they share in the vision as stakeholder partners.”

The Projenz report concludes that the end product, two kilometres of a free flowing four lane road has fulfilled its objectives of improving traffic flow and road safety, and added substantially to amenities on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

ENDS

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