New Kopu Bridge Earns Plaudits At Construction Awards
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New Kopu Bridge Earns Plaudits At 2012 Hirepool Construction Awards
Auckland, 18 September 2012: The completion of the new Kopu Bridge on one of the busiest roads for holiday traffic between Auckland and The Coromandel was acknowledged at the 68th New Zealand Contractors’ Federation annual conference.
The $40 million project, which was bought forward as part of the Government’s economic stimulus package has eased traffic congestion during peak periods along SH 25, won a merit award at the 2012 Hirepool Construction Awards.
This year’s Hirepool Construction Awards, which recognise excellence in civil construction projects carried out by New Zealand companies at home or abroad, attracted a record 29 entries across four categories with budgets ranging from up to $500,000 to over $20 million.
The new Kopu Bridge was entered in Category Four, for projects with a value greater than $20 million, and according to the judges it differed in all respects from the larger projects - in scale, nature of works, site environment and its procurement model - and was therefore hard to compare.
Construction of the Kopu Bridge Replacement project, undertaken by HEB Construction Limited for the New Zealand Transport Agency began in July 2009 and was completed in December 2011 - six months ahead of schedule. The 580 metre long bridge carries two lanes of traffic along with a 2-7m wide footpath and cycleway over the Waihou River. Work also involved 2.5kms of approach roads and a two-lane roundabout at the junction of SH25 and SH26, linking Thames and Paeroa.
The bridge comprises 14 spans of up to 42 metre long beams, between piers supporting a reinforced concrete bridge, with the central span 6.5m above mean sea level, providing sufficient height for large river boats to pass underneath.
It replaces the old bridge, built 85 years ago, which had only one traffic lane and featured a swing span to allow passage of boats to pass underneath. Road traffic was controlled by traffic signals at both ends. An average 9,000 vehicles use that section of SH25 each day, and with only one lane this created traffic bottlenecks on weekends and lengthy delays during holiday peaks.
According to NZCF executive officer Malcolm Abernathy the manner in which HEB addressed the engineering challenges and risks, and the results achieved, led the judges to recommend the project receive a Merit Award. “HEB responded in a very professional manner to the challenges and fully collaborated throughout the project with the NZTA, the environmental regulatory authority and the local community,” he says. “The outcomes were outstanding - zero lost time accidents, an almost perfect environmental compliance score, completion ahead of the client’s programme, under budget and a quality of finish that really impressed the judges.”
Hirepool Chief Executive, Mark Powell says the awards this year “again reflected the outstanding service NZCF members contribute to New Zealand’s continued growth and we congratulate the finalists as well as category and merit award winners.
“Each of them plays such a vital role in providing and maintaining the infrastructure of public services so vital for a modern, developed economy like ours, if it is to compete efficiently in world markets today.”
Hirepool recently confirmed its commitment as the Principal Business Partner of the NZCF for a further three years through to 2014. That will mark 10 years as sponsor of the Construction Awards and the NZCF.
• The New Zealand Transport Agency is now calling for expressions of interest from the public or commercial operators to re-use the old one-way bridge, currently closed for access.