Earth movers for road build
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.’’