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Transit again wins international environment award

Transit again wins international environment award

For the third time Transit New Zealand has won the International Road Federation Global Road Achievement Award for Environmental Mitigation.

Transit chief executive Rick van Barneveld said a panel of international judges made the award for the environmental initiatives on the Grafton Gully Project in Auckland, and the award was presented recently at an IRF meeting in Bangkok.

“To win this international award once is an achievement. To win it three times really puts New Zealand and Transit on the world stage.

“I congratulate all those involved in building the Grafton Gully Project. These are the people of the Freeflow Alliance who work for Transit, Beca Carter, Fletchers, and Higgins.

“One of the features of the Grafton Gully Project is the stormwater tank the size of three tennis courts to take stormwater that otherwise would have carried run-off contaminants and sediment into the Waitemata Harbour.

Aesthetic values have played an important part in this project, from design to landscaping. The project has also received a Public Archaeology Award for its efforts to find and preserve artifacts in the area. These have been displayed in the project’s information centre which has been popular with professional, community and school groups.

“Transit won the inaugural award for the building of the State Highway 12 through Northland’s Waipoua Kauri Forest, a project that included “root bridges” over the roots of the ancient kauri trees. These bridges protect the tree roots from traffic, and through the vents in the bridge deck the trees are ventilated and watered.

“In 2002 Transit won the award again for the Otira Viaduct and Candy’s Bend to Starvation Point Projects on SH 73 over the Southern Alps. Special care was taken on the project to disturb the environment as little a possible while making the whole route safer and more secure * the viaduct replaced the notorious zig-zag on the highway.

“These projects have been challenging in engineering terms and in environmental terms. But New Zealand transport engineers are already known for their gift for innovation, efficiency and vision. It reflects multidisciplinary successes, and is the way of the future. These awards do raise our profile and we now have many international visitors checking out the successful way we do things,” he said.

Mr van Barneveld said in all of the projects Transit had worked closely with local iwi, the Department of Conservation, local authorities, conservation advisors and scientists as well as consultants and contractors.

The IRF is an organisation of public and private entities committed to road development in 70 countries. The IRF promotes social and economic benefits that flow from well-planned and environmentally sound transportation networks.

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