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Expressway Project Results In Prosecution

A Waikato infrastructure construction company has been convicted and fined $32,500 for discharging a large volume of sediment to the Waikato River during the construction of the Waikato Expressway in January 2019.

Hick Bros Infrastructure Ltd is part of the alliance group that has been formed to coordinate and construct the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Waikato Expressway project.

The sediment discharge occurred as a result of the failure of an earth bund that had been constructed to hold back water. The failure occurred near Hamilton and initially impacted on the Mangaonua Stream flowing to the Waikato River. The visual impacts on the river were significant.

The sentencing outcome was released this week by Hamilton District Court Judge Brian Dwyer as a result of a prosecution initiated by Waikato Regional Council.

Judge Dwyer commented on the “excellent track record” of the company, but said this breach “demonstrated a certain lack of care or poor management practice which contributed to this event”.

Waikato regional compliance manager Patrick Lynch said: “The expressway is an absolutely enormous project that has been very well-managed. This was a single isolated incident by a reputable company, but it does demonstrate the extremely high level of care that needs to be taken in projects of this scale.”

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