Two major Lower Hatea River Crossing sub-contracts totalling $1.9million have been let to local companies, McKay Electrical and McRaes Engineering.
McKay will supply the electrical components of the bridge including power supply to lights and to the hydraulic ram that will lift the bridge’s bascule, while McRaes will supply the hydraulics system to the rams for the bascule.
WDC Group Manager Infrastructure Services Simon Weston said a strong factor in favour of both companies was that they both have Whangarei offices and will be able to be involved in the operation and maintenance of the bridge and the components they supply on an on-going basis, with quick response times.
Mr Weston said that at $29million the Lower Hatea River Crossing is the largest civil engineering project ever seen in the Whangarei District. While making sensible economic choices meant going off shore for the bascule (lifting platform) itself, it has been important from the start to ensure where possible the bridge is built by local people for local people.
“It is really important to acknowledge the level of international experience and expertise available in our community. It means we can stay local for these major components, and make the most of the existing relationships and local knowledge that will sustain this infrastructure over the long term,” Mr Weston said.
Deputy Mayor Phil Halse said the project was more than a piece of roading infrastructure.
“It is part of the fabric of our District’s history. The people who work on it, the families they support, the teams gaining skills here will all pass their involvement in this project to future generations.
“In a short timeframe people will be talking about how much things have changed. Not only will the final step in our ring-road be completed, but a brand new ring of walkways associated with this project will draw people into our inner city, bringing in new life and vibrancy. We are making progress we could only have dreamt about 20 years ago.”
He said the project was on time and progressing really well.
At the same time as these contracts are being let, work is reaching a significant point at the worksite.
The bridge decking has now been laid on the piers at the Pohe Island side of the bridge and the temporary jetty used during construction is about to be dismantled and moved to the Port Road side of the River.
The intersection of Port Road and Okara Drive (near Cobham Oval) has been closed to enable the road to be raised and the large roundabout to be installed.
Once the temporary jetty has been re-established on that side, work will begin on the second half of the bridge, with the aim to install the lifting bascule in March next year.
Other Local companies involved in the project to date include: Buscks (concrete), Lionel Thorne (Fencing), Hirepool/Cowleys(Hire Equipment), Opus (Lab Testing), Allied Work Force (Labour Hire), Winstones Otaika (Aggregate/Fill Supply), Hynds Whangarei (SW Pipe/Manhole Supply), Jackson & Edge/Cates Transport (Truck Hire), Northern Civil (Design and Review), Transfield/Northern Civil (SP3 Bid Costs), Transfield (HSA Planning), Various Local Suppliers (Sundry Items).