Kaikoura Earthquake Recovery

Following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck approximately 60km south west of Kaikoura on 14th November 2016, Allied Concrete was approached to assist in the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR), which was set up by the Government late December 2016 to restore the severely damaged infrastructure between Picton and Christchurch.

Between May and July 2017, an enormous amount of work was being carried out by the NCTIR Design Teams on concept studies that were ultimately presented to the supply chain in August 2017. Allied Concrete’s initial brief was to deliver some 10,000m3 of concrete over a 40-week period. 

The most challenging stretch of road was located between Hapuku and the Clarence River, north of Kaikoura where the likelihood of continued slips on the coastal faces after clearing was to be solved by pushing the road alignment towards the sea and further away from the coastal slopes.

Allied Concrete quickly established that the scale of the job meant that a team approach was required. With our aggregate and cement partners, Fulton Hogan and Holcim Cement the key challenges quickly crystallised.

These were identified as crushing and screening enough materials; storage capacity; the cement tanker fleet to service the operations via the inland route to Kaikoura and getting enough people on the ground at a time when national concrete outputs were already at historical highs. 

Allied Concrete’s contribution to the re-opening of SH1 in Kaikoura involved the manufacture and transport of some 90,000m3 of concrete and cement stabilised materials largely delivered over a three and a half month timeframe from September 2017 to December 2017.

This was achieved by establishing one concrete plant, three Pugmills and supporting infrastructure for production of aggregates and cement delivery and storage that, at times were operating 24 hours per day, 6 days a week.

Safety was built into the plant facilities and logistics by the identification of key controls up-front and the use of behavioural coaching programmes that ultimately resulted in nil LTI’s. This was despite the high pressure operating environment and objective risks that existed. 

Ultimately, the project is an example of what construction and supply teams can achieve when alignment on purpose occurs. Design and construction occurred virtually simultaneously without compromise to quality.

Allied Concrete are extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to contribute to this project, which has been recognised on the world stage by winning the prestigious Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) People’s Choice Award.

The $1.3 Billion project involved collaboration, communication and a partnering approach that we have not seen on any other project, speaking largely for NCTIR Management, Supervisors of NCTIR, Allied Concrete Supervisors and our partners.­

Video Credit: Coastal footage supplied by NCTIR