Momentum builds as Penlink partners put pen to paper


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency today announced the successful construction partners for delivering Penlink, a new two-lane, proposed toll road in North Auckland.

HEB, Fulton Hogan, Aurecon and Tonkin + Taylor gathered today with Waka Kotahi to formally sign an agreement, that saw the group become an alliance to construct the eagerly awaited new connection.

The seven-kilometre road and shared path for people walking and on wheels is part of the Government’s $8.7 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP), and will provide better, safer, more reliable transport options for communities across Whangaparāoa, Hibiscus Coast and Silverdale.

Mark Kinvig, National Manager Infrastructure Delivery at Waka Kotahi said, “Penlink is a highly-anticipated project that will enhance the lives of those living and working in these growing communities. That’s why we needed the best in the industry, and this alliance brings that skill set and experience to the table.”

All projects in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme will have targets to reduce construction emissions in order to meet the Waka Kotahi vision to have a low carbon, safe and healthy transport system.

“The Penlink alliance will have a strong focus on reducing construction emissions, with a minimum reduction target of 10 percent and a stretch goal of more than 20 percent,” said Mr Kinvig.

“Waka Kotahi identified that the Wēiti River Crossing would be the largest single contributor to Penlink’s embodied emissions, so exploring innovative solutions and ways to reduce its carbon footprint was a strong focus for the alliance during the procurement process.”

During the tendering process the alliance refined the design which now delivers significant improvements from the original bridge, including reducing the number of piers in the Wēiti River, from three to two. This reduces the impact on the marine environment and allows clearer views and passage through the navigation channel.

Construction methodologies have been improved, including a reduction in temporary staging which help to minimise greenhouse gas emissions. A lowered entrance to the crossing will better fit with the landscape, enabling 235 metres to be trimmed off the overall crossing, reducing the amount of steel and concrete required.

A cable supported crossing reduces the amount of concrete required, significantly reducing construction emissions and the northern pier has also been moved away from the coastal cliff to avoid excavation into the cliff face.

The project will provide increased travel choice and reduced vehicle emissions through new separated path for walking and cycling and give people on the Whangaparāoa Peninsula better and faster access to the Northern Busway.