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NZTA wins international award

NZTA wins international award for environmentally friendly road de-icing initiative

An NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) chemical road de-icing initiative has received worldwide recognition for excellence in environmental mitigation.

The NZTA’s Chemical De-icing Environmental Risk Management project has been selected as the winner of the 2012 International Roading Federation’s (IRF) Global Road Achievement Award in the Environmental Mitigation category.

NZTA General Manager Highways and Network Operations Colin Crampton says the winning project identified an effective, environmentally-friendly chemical de-icing solution for New Zealand’s roads without compromising the protection of nearby soils, vegetation and waterways.

“This in turn has contributed to improved resilience and accessibility on New Zealand’s highway network which contributes directly to our local and national economic growth as well as significant safety and environmental benefits to road users and communities.”

An independent, international panel of judges with expertise in the roadway development industry selected the NZTA initiative as the winning entry, which puts the Agency into an elite group of projects from 29 countries which have been recognised by the IRF for their excellence and innovation since the awards began in 2000.

The award entry detailed how the NZ Transport Agency set out to rigorously examine the effects of Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) on the environment through a carefully planned and managed introduction with ongoing monitoring of the environment.

CMA was identified as a suitable alternative to salt which is universally used as a very effective de-icer however its use was discontinued in NZ in the early 1980’s due to concerns for the environment and its effects on vehicles.

From the first trials conducted in the Central North Island the use of the chemical de-icer was expanded to other areas and is now in common use on many state highways throughout NZ during winter.

Monitoring carried out for over 12 years determined that the chemical has had no long term cumulative effect on the environment.

The project was submitted by Hamilton-based NZTA Principal Asset Manager, Alan Burkett, who initiated the introduction of CMA into New Zealand and carried out the first trials. This has put the NZTA’s achievements in front of roading professionals worldwide.

“The NZTA is proud to receive this award from such a respected international roading organisation that recognises and acknowledges the excellent work being done by our people,” Mr Crampton says.


The NZ Transport Agency works to create transport solutions for all New Zealanders – from helping new drivers earn their licences, to leading safety campaigns to investing in public transport, state highways and local roads. Follow us on twitter @nzta_news.

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