Final stage of work on SH60 Takaka Hill underway

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 2, 2019

Just one of the many slips that closed Takaka Hill, SH60, temporarily.

A contract to complete the last five big repair sites on State Highway 60, Takaka Hill, significantly damaged by Cyclone Gita in 2018, has been awarded to construction company Downer by the NZ Transport Agency.

Ten minor sites damaged in the early 2018 storm were repaired and completed by mid-2019.

About $20 million of funding has been provided by the NZTA for the entire Takaka Hill emergency response and recovery, which includes around $12 million for repairs to the five last major sites this summer.

NZTA project manager for Takaka Hill Chris Robertson says Downer will now undertake essential planning and preparation work before rolling out the heavy machinery, allowing the team to complete the physical works safely and efficiently.

“This will help speed up the construction process and reduce unnecessary disruption. By completing planning and design up-front, it means construction can continue without requiring significant road closures or major changes for Takaka Hill road users,” he says.

“The remaining five sites are all significant pieces of work with geotechnical risks, and there‘s a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to help get this road back up and running and fully opened without traffic management as quickly as possible.”

One of the repaired sites with a wider road shoulder and better drainage than before.

Since the early 2018 Cyclone Gita storm, the hill access to Golden Bay has had one-way sections controlled by traffic signals.

The project team will now complete planning and preparation of required construction plans.  They will also be developing the ‘temporary works design‘ – an essential part of the project to provide a safe working area for the team below the live carriageway.

Additional geotechnical investigations will happen as soon as possible to enable the temporary design to be confirmed prior to construction. Once construction gets underway in the New Year, there will be multiple sites under construction at once.

All on-site work will be paused over the Christmas and New Year period to reduce any impact on travel times. The crew will begin establishment work for the five sites in the lead-in to Christmas.

Traffic lights will remain in place for the duration of the repair work, including the holiday period, with the traffic signal system being extended further uphill to include all five major sites once construction starts. Alternating traffic flow through this section of the Takaka Hill will remain during the construction period.