Earth movers for road build

Rodney Times - - OUT & ABOUT - DEL­WYN DICKEY

Earth mov­ing ma­chines will be fir­ing up in earnest shortly as the first earth­works sea­son for the Ara Tu¯ hono Pu¯ hoi to Wark­worth mo­tor­way ex­ten­sion gets un­der­way.

With 960 olympic sized swim­ming pools worth of soil to shift, the crews will be hop­ing the wet weather of win­ter clears up a bit.

‘‘We have ex­pec­ta­tions of a good sum­mer but our pro­gramme al­lows for some wet weather,’’ CEO of NX2, Ray Wilson said

The sea­son will last un­til April with work on three sites. North of Perry Road, be­tween Perry Road and Moir Hill Road, and from Moir Hill road to Wat­sons Road.

This will see about 20 per­cent of the to­tal earth­works for the project out of the way.

Giv­ing the crews a hand is a 54-tonne rock crusher by the name of Terex, which will crush up rock frac­tured dur­ing previous blast­ing so less ma­te­rial needs to be brought onto site.

This should save up to 21,000 truck and trailer trips onto the site over the course of the four year build.

Soil from ex­ca­va­tions also won’t be re­moved from the site, fur­ther cut­ting down truck move­ments.

‘‘All un­suit­able soil will go to iden­ti­fied tip sites within the des­ig­na­tion. These ar­eas are pre­pared with drainage and will be grassed over and land­scaped in some in­stances when we are fin­ished us­ing them,’’ Wilson said.

Along with ero­sion sed­i­ment con­trol, fresh wa­ter wildlife is be­ing moved.

‘‘The route for the Pu¯ hoi to Wark­worth mo­tor­way is de­signed to avoid the most sen­si­tive eco­log­i­cal ar­eas and en­vi­ron­men­tal care and mit­i­ga­tion forms an im­por­tant part of the project.’’ Wilson ad­vised.

Fresh­wa­ter fish and other life have been caught and re­lo­cated over the last few weeks. They will stay within the same catch­ment, but have been moved out of harm’s way, Wilson said. Elec­tric fish­ing along with netting has been used.

‘‘NX2 ecol­o­gists from Tonkin and Tay­lor are car­ry­ing out the fish­ing, with a per­mit from the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion (Doc) and the Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI),’’ he said.

‘‘The mon­i­tor­ing data will be loaded on to the New Zealand Fresh­wa­ter Fish Data­base and pro­vided to Doc, MPI, iwi and Auck­land Coun­cil.’’

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