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Providing a direct link to the Hamilton CBD

The Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway provides a direct link to the Hamilton CBD, reducing travel times and congestion from the ongoing Te Rapa development.

Opus’ involvement in the project started during the original I&R and preliminary design of the Te Rapa Bypass, a 7.5km Road of National Significance expressway project. We were then part of the Alliance Team that delivered the tender for the detailed design and construction of the works.

The project includes:

  • Three grade separated interchange bridge structures
  • One NIMT Railway crossing bridge plus two other bridges
  • 1.5km of major urban arterial upgrading along Avalon Drive
  • Three traffic signalised junctions
  • Four roundabouts.

As part of the urban design, extensive collaboration and consultation with key stakeholders was necessary throughout the project to ensure robust network connectivity was developed that integrated with adjacent structure plans (Hamilton City Council and Waikato District Council).

Our Te Rapa experience shows our understanding of the importance and benefits of total engagement of stakeholders including Iwi and the clarity and level of information required for the public. We prepared extensive visual material for public consultation and for use in RMA hearings (designation and consents).

Our alliance project team comprised specialists who had previously gained major project experience working on SH20 Mt Roskill Extension, Northern Gateway Toll Road and the East Taupo Arterial. These people worked together superbly to produce a professionally managed project with very successful outcomes

The key learning here is that by maintaining people and systems that are proven and refined in a large scale project, we are able to make significant advances in programme management, financial management, quality control, safety and stakeholder liaison.

The project was able to start up easily and overcome problems quickly, such as absorbing a 35% increase in scope while still forecasting to finish ahead of the original completion date.

Opus was involved in the project from its inception in 1995 right through to the consenting and Notice of Requirement phase. Nevertheless, we made sure we went into the alliance with an open mind and challenged our decisions. The combination of prior project knowledge combined with new key personnel resulted in further innovations, such as changing intersection layouts to reduce structural lengths of bridges, which significantly reduced costs.

Our web based consultation database provided easy access for NZTA, its agents and the wider project team to progress and complete actions in a timely way. We also set up and managed a steering group consisting of key stakeholders to ensure all issues were thoroughly considered.

Our team successfully sought and gained all statutory approvals, provided technical support at mediation meetings, and on-going expert advice to resolve appeals.

The Te Rapa Alliance won the Waikato Regional Council’s 2011 Erosion and Sediment Control Site of the Year Award for consistent excellent standards, showing our commitment to best practice design and construction practices.