- Publication no: ABC2017-136-17
- Published: 26 April 2017
The Huntly Section is a new NZ$415M section of the Waikato Expressway running between Hamilton and Auckland. It will connect the recently completed Ngaruawahia and Ohinewai sections on a route that traverses the Taupiri Ranges within a deep cutting before crossing the ‘Red Rivers’ tributaries of the Waikato River. The project is one of the largest design-and-construct contracts let in New Zealand, and was won by a Fulton Hogan / HEB joint venture in April 2015. A design joint venture between Opus International Consultants and Jacobs, supported by sub-consultants Gaia and Bartley Consultants, is providing design and construction observation services. Construction commenced in October 2015 and is expected to finish in 2019.
The project includes nine bridges of varying lengths, spans and skews, providing major rail, local road and river crossings. The design solutions adopted for these bridges include precast concrete ‘Super-T’ girder bridges and long-span weathering steel girder bridges with a total steel tonnage of just over 2,000 tonnes. This paper provides a description of the bridge designs adopted and how they addressed client, environmental and cultural requirements. The paper also provides examination of the challenges faced throughout design and construction including extremely poor ground conditions, requirements for high skew and the use of uncommon design solutions including seismic isolation and weathering steel.