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The convoy of articulated dump trucks loaded with boulders head to the site on SH1

Working together to help coastal commuters in the wake of Cyclone Gita

Four articulated dump trucks, running in convoy, worked through the day to haul boulders from Transmission Gully motorway’s site at Paekakariki to a section of State Highway 1 hit by Cyclone Gita in late February.


CPB HEB JV project director Boyd Knights says that when the call came in from the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to help build a seawall for a section of State Highway 1 near Paekakariki, damaged by Cyclone Gita, it was a no-brainer.

“We’ve got a large community of people surrounding the project, so it was great to step in and do what we could to help out,” he says.

Cyclone Gita, which hit Wellington late on Tuesday 20 February, wreaked havoc overnight, with a section of embankment along State Highway 1 between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki washed away by the sea.

Stabilising the area

Four articulated dump trucks, each loaded with between 30–40 tonnes of boulders, set off on the hour-long return trip from the site compound at Paekakariki. By Wednesday afternoon, the team had delivered around 350 tonnes of boulders to stabilise the affected area and protect it from further damage from the sea.

“The team did a great job working alongside the NZTA’s network maintenance contractors to get the boulders in place for the damaged section of State Highway 1 before high tide, so they could get a lane open before peak traffic hit,” says Boyd.

Once the evening commute had passed, the team worked through the night to get both lanes open before sunrise on Thursday morning.

More reliable route

“It is weather events like this that keep us focused on getting the new motorway built. Once it’s finished, it’ll provide another route between Wellington and the lower and central North Island that’s safer and more reliable for motorists, and better able to resist and recover from earthquakes and storms,” says Boyd Knights.

Senior journeys manager for the NZTA, Neil Walker, expressed thanks to the JV team for their efforts. “It was lucky the Transmission Gully team was there with boulders and equipment to get the repair done so quickly.”

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