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First new network maintenance contract awarded

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The NZ Transport Agency has awarded the first of its new network maintenance and operations contracts to a partnership led by Downer for the South Canterbury area.

The $69.9 million contract will run over seven years and is designed to deliver greater efficiencies in terms of operation and costs, says the Transport Agency's Canterbury/West Coast Highway Manager Colin Knaggs.

This is a new way of doing business. In the past, there have been a number of contracts for delivering the maintenance works on the state highway network.

With one contract for the area from the Rakaia River to the Waitaki River, including the inland state highway routes to Mt Cook and Ruataniwha, the Transport Agency is expecting savings across the board," he says.

Downer has formed a partnership with professional engineering services provider GHD, surfacing supplier Isaac, local contracting company Paul Smith and vegetation control operator GSL to deliver the new contract.

Mr Knaggs says the contract will be performance-based, with the focus being on the delivery of good quality outcomes for the network and all road users.

Downer's had been our maintenance contractor for the southern part of this new South Canterbury wide area for some time. The company has established depots in Timaru, Fairlie, Twizel and Waimate, with a good working knowledge of the area.

The new contract will take effect on 1 April 2014.

The next contract to be let will be in the North Island, for the Taranaki region. The contract is currently out for tender.

Mr Knaggs thanked all the contractors who in recent years have contributed to the maintenance and management of the South Canterbury state highway network.

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