End in sight for Kaikoura recovery

The rebuild of the transport networks following the Kaikoura 7.8 magnitude earthquake in November 2016 is nearing an end.

The NZTA, KiwiRail and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance, working on the reinstatement of the highway and the Main North Line, say the majority of construction should finish late 2020 with NCTIR’s handover work wrapping up in December 2020.

“A work package for the remainder of the work was scoped earlier this year and has now been agreed by the Transport Agency and KiwiRail,” says Steve Mutton, chair of the NCTIR Board.

“These new projects are on the Inland Road (Route 70) between Waiau and Kaikoura and on SH1 north and south of the town.

“We’ve been on the ground in Kaikoura since the earthquake in 2016 and have come a long way. The road and rail were reopened in 2017, but since then we’ve been making many temporary fixes permanent.”

Currently the teams are constructing six safe stopping areas, following the completion of the first at Ohau Point last October, and making safety improvements to the route such as realigning sections of road, installing double centre lines to keep traffic further apart and installing safety barriers.

Work is also underway at a number of sites to further improve the resilience of the Main North Line.

“The works will be delivered within the original Crown-funded budget of $1.2 billion set in July 2017,” adds Mutton.

“We’ve recently reached the milestone of five million work hours on the Kaikoura earthquake recovery and many of our team have been here since the start.

“I’d like to acknowledge all the women and men who worked those hours in all sorts of conditions and those who continue to come to work each day to help build a uniquely special transport corridor for the people of Kaikoura and its many visitors.

“We believe it will provide a benefit for generations to come and it is a project we can all be proud of.”




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