As a $23 million, 2.5 kilometre highway realignment takes shape, the Matakohe skyline is dominated by massive crane — the smaller of two cranes at 100 tonnes which arrived from the South Island where it was used in the Kaikoura earthquake recovery operation.
An even larger 300 tonne crane has also arrived on-site, trucked in sections in a seven-vehicle convoy.
“This crane is not required yet and so remains in pieces,” said NZTA communications and stakeholder manager, Barbara Ware.” It is unlikely to be needed for another six to eight weeks during which time the team will start to put it together.”
The bridge spans will be 55 metres and 190 metres respectively. Meanwhile, NZTA’s progress report says earthworks continue across the site.
‘Drivers passing through the site will have noticed significant changes to the limestone quarry where we continue to cut material, which is used for access roads and to form the base layers of the road realignment.
‘Rock armour has been laid in several areas across the site and drainage works are progressing including culvert construction.
‘The earthworks team has also constructed temporary access roads and laydown areas to begin building the new bridges. Piling works at both bridge sites will continue throughout the year.
‘Heritage New Zealand has been informed of our most recent archaeological find on-site, an old horse-drawn chain harrows uncovered at the east end of the site.’
NZTA has also warned children to avoid walking or cycling through the construction area because of heavy vehicles and constricted traffic flows.