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Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening onsite and behind the scenes – July 2022 update.

Earthworks

The project has now had two summer earthworks seasons, with more than 3,300,000 cubic metres of earth moved since the construction began in January 2021. This accounts for more than half of the project’s total earthworks.

Winter works consents have been approved, which means more earthworks can take place over the winter months. More than 120 pieces of heavy machinery are being used across the site.

Eastern access – Woodville

Looking from the current highway in Woodville, Fill 21 and Cut 30 are largely complete. Further uphill Fill 20 is more than 50 per cent complete and can be seen slowly rising as the material from Cut 28 is moved down the hill.

The current cut depth of the southern section of Cut 28 is around 50m, with five benches now visible on the skyline. Machinery has started to open up the back section of Cut 28, which is visible from the Saddle Rd, and this will be the main focus of the upcoming earthworks season.

The eastern roundabout is expected to commence in the next summer season, with some enabling works commencing  this year, namely the installation of culverts.

Western access – Ashhurst

Construction of the western roundabout site on Napier Road has been paused over the winter months and will resume again in summer. This site includes the creation of a road leading the Western Access Gateway Park, which will be the site of the new Te Āpiti – Manawatū Gorge walking track.  

Good progress has been made on both Fill 9 and Cut 12, both visible from Ashhurst, with earthworks on the latter all but completed.  Work has commenced on the 30-metre-high living wall on the boundary of the QEII block. This specially-made wall will ensure we are keeping the alignment’s footprint as light as possible.

Structures

At the Parahaki Bridge site across the Manawatū River, piling for all three of the bridge’s piers has been completed and concrete pours at the piers are ongoing.

Across the river at the Eco Viaduct site, the causeway – an engineered embankment that forms a continuous crane pad - has been completed and piling work on the bridge’s piers is more than halfway through. Eight dewatering bores have been installed to help manage high artesian water pressure in this area.

The base concrete slab has been poured at the Te Apiti Wind Farm Underpass (Bridge 5) and work is ongoing for the wall’s reinforcement, with concrete pours to taking place through July.

Both the Morgan Road Underpass (Bridge 10) and the Nutcracker Farm Underpass (Bridge 1) are structurally complete, with work continuing on their Mechanically Stabilised Earth walls. Design work continues on the Bridge 7 underpass over the the Mangamanaia Stream, with construction scheduled to commence later in the year.

Landscaping

Since the second planting season started in May 2022, there are now more than 222,000 plants in the ground, which is good progress towards a total of more than 500,000 for the season.

Planting is taking place on three properties throughout the region, with iwi teams from Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua and Rangitāne o Manawatū leading the planting at two of these sites. The Conservation Works Skills team are also assisting with the planting of harakeke on Parahaki Island. Pest control continues across all of the planting sites.

Along the alignment, permanent grassing continues to be planted on completed earthworks sections.

Project news

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