One of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken in New Zealand has been recognised by the prestigious American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association.

Kate Palmer

 

North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) was awarded the WW Hay Award for Excellence by the Association for the restoration of the rail and road connection between Picton and Christchurch following the devastating Kaikōura earthquake in 2016.

This is the first project from outside the United States and Canada to win.

Previous winners include the project to rebuild stations and rail links damaged by the 9/11 World Trade Centre attack in New York, and the reconstruction efforts following Cyclone Katrina in 2006.

Simon Robertson, WSP’s Project Director and Major Projects Leader, extends huge congratulations to KiwiRail, NZ Transport Agency and the whole NCTIR Team in winning the WW Hay Award for Excellence.

“This is one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever been involved with and its success is testament to the Team’s ingenuity and many hours of commitment, energy and passion to restore vital road and rail connections,” he says.

The recovery efforts following the Kaikōura earthquake have already received numerous awards including the People’s Choice Award from the Institute for Civil Engineering, which has a large global membership and a recent ACENZ award.

As an integral part of the team, WSP worked with NCTIR to rebuild and reopen the Main North Railway Line by September 2017, and State Highway One north of Kaikōura by December 2017. Ongoing works have seen further large infrastructure improvements constructed with a predicted end date of December 2020.

Simon says he is extremely proud of WSP’s involvement.

“Our people have and continue to contribute to this highly demanding and complex project in support of NCTIR and to connect communities. Their design and construction work will ensure there is resilient infrastructure for future generations.”

WATCH: WSP Engineering Geologist, Frances Neeson and Major Projects Leader, Simon Robertson discuss the three response phases WSP has contributed.

Kaikoura emergency recovery response

Over the Kaikoura coast, scores of significant landslides inundated both road and rail infrastructure, with fault ruptures and ground displacements adding to the damage. Road and rail term consultants worked in alliance, recruiting additional engineering resource to meet the high workload demands.

By the start of 2017, a design and build consortium, known as the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recover (NCTIR) had been formed.  The knowledge retention due to a relatively short period of time between events enabled the Kaikoura recovery to proceed at an accelerated pace. The critical 25km of coastal transportation corridor remain on track for re-opening. A key factor of this recent success is the serendipitous occurrence of two significant natural disasters in a very short period of time and within a relatively localised geographic.