Sponsored by Tonkin + Taylor
Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery
NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail & NCTIR Alliance
Kaikōura’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in November 2016 devastated transport networks cutting off communities in the upper South Island. The NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail jumped into action and set up the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance with Fulton Hogan, Downers, Higgins and HEB Construction to respond to the emergency.
The extraordinary seismic event that permanently moved the South Island caused almost one million cubic metres of rock and material to fall onto SH1 and the Main North Line. There were more than 3,300 separate “things to be fixed”, including both land and structures.
The recovery work was a herculean effort. Repairs on the Main North Line represented the largest rail construction effort in New Zealand since the Second World War, with 220 work sites along 190km of track.
Despite these challenges, SH1 was reopened to freight on 15 September 2017 – just ten months after the devastating quake. And two months later SH1 reopened – reconnecting communities once more.
The judges commented the rebuild has set the standard for how we mobilise as a country following a natural disaster.