We’ve started a new game in New Zealand – it’s called ‘count the cranes’. Construction here is booming with new buildings, motorways, cycleways (hot pink ones, even) and long-awaited underground tunnels. If you've been out of NZ for a while, you’ll be amazed at just how much has changed. While there are lots of construction projects on the go around the country, here’s our top 7:
1. Pūhoi to Warkworth Motorway
The Pūhoi to Warkworth project will extend the four-lane SH1 Northern Motorway 18.5km from the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels to just north of Warkworth. This is the first stage of the Ara Tuhono Puhoi to Wellsford Road, and it’s a whopper. It’s been built to support economic and population growth and to improve freight connection for Northland to Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga. It will also make travelling north far easier and faster, reducing travelling times to Wellsford by up to 20 minutes. Forget having to negotiate all the Remuera 4WDs making their way through Dome Valley, darling…
Timeline: 2017-2022. Value: $709.5 million
2. City Link Rail
The City Rail Link (CRL) is the new underground rail line linking Britomart and the city centre with the existing western line near Mt Eden. We think this is the most exciting thing to happen to Auckland since the SkyTower went up and it’s the Government's top transport priority to sort out Auckland traffic woes. When complete, it will feature two 3.4km long tunnels up to 42m below the city centre, new stations near Aotea Square and Karangahape Road, and a redeveloped station at Mount Eden. We may be slow to the party as far as public transport goes, but when we do it, we do it right!
Timeline: 2015-2021. Value: $2.5 billion
3. SkyCity International Convention Centre and Hotel
The SkyCity development is one of the largest construction projects in downtown Auckland since the SkyTower was built in 1997 (yes, twenty years ago). This is a huge undertaking, building a 32,000sqm convention centre, a five-star 300-room hotel on Hobson Street, a retail laneway linking Nelson and Hobson Streets, and 1327 car parks. She’s a big job requiring an estimated 1000 workers for a 38-month build. Since Auckland is increasingly 'cultured' these days, with heaps of great shows and concerts, SkyCity felt the need to build the biggest convention centre of its kind in the country. The centre will host up to 4000 people for events, so maybe now Britney Spears will finally tour here. We can only hope…
Timeline: 2015-2018. Value: $700 million
SkyPath is a planned pedestrian and cycle pathway across the Waitematā Harbour, linking the North Shore to the Auckland CBD. That’s right, you’ll now be able to commute from the Shore into the city by foot or bike. The SkyPath will use light and very strong marine technology composite materials to build a series of U beams, clipped onto the underside of the eastern edge of the bridge, along with a composite foam core deck. Horizontal composite rods will be spaced out across the enclosure to allow viewing and maintain safety. The SkyPath will be 4 metres wide, with enough space for walkers, joggers and cyclists plus additional 2-metre extensions for six observation decks at the structural piers, for those who want to stop and smell the sea breeze. "Oh the serenity".
Timeline: 2017-2019. Value: $33.5 million
5. Long Bay and its 2800 new homes
Auckland's North Shore is getting some much needed new residential areas. A good example are the new developments in Long Bay, which include 2800 new homes and a small commercial area. Don’t fret: a café was one of the first priorities. To connect to these new development areas and to cater for the increase in traffic, there are further plans for an upgrade to local roading. If you’re working here during summer, make the most of daylight saving and knock off for the day with good ol' fish and chips on beautiful Long Bay Beach.
Timeline: 2012-2022. Value: TBC
6. The Kaikoura rebuild
Kaikoura was hit heavily by the recent earthquake but it will come back stronger than ever after the planned rebuild. A specially formed construction alliance made up of NZ’s biggest heavyweights will work to fix State Highway 1 and the rail corridor along the coastal route to the north and south of Kaikoura. She’s a big job and the government hopes it will be done in 12 months but when we shake our Eighty4 number 8 ball it flashes “Not likely”. If you want to work on something that makes a difference, this is your chance – the locals there are screaming out for this to happen ASAP to they can get their lives back on track. Jump on board.
Timeline: 12 months+. Value: $1.5-2 billion
7. Waitemata Crossing – Second Harbour Crossing
The Government is pushing hard for an additional harbour crossing to complement the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge and to support New Zealand’s economy, transporting goods around NZ and to the ports. So far, the preferred route for the additional crossing seems to be east of the Auckland Harbour Bridge between the Esmonde Road interchange on the North Shore, and Victoria Park Tunnel and Central Motorway Junction in central Auckland, going under the Auckland Harbour. The project is in investigation stages at this point, to determine if a tunnel is the best option and if it should be a busway or include rail, but we’ve included it in this list because it will be one heck of a project to be a part of. Watch this space!
Timeline: Currently under investigation
By Mark Fisher, Eighty4 Recruitment
Eighty4 Recruitment is an Auckland-based recruitment company specialising in engineering, planning, surveying, transport, construction and built environment. They are currently on a mission to bring Kiwis back home to work on some of the awesome projects that are on the go. In fact, Mark and his team are heading to London July 13-15 to talk to engineers, planners, surveyors and construction professionals (foreman and above) to talk about opportunities, pay rates and projects. Find out more and book in to see their recruitment consultants at www.eighty4recruitment.com/in-london.