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Upper Hutt Leader : July 27th 2011
18 UPPER HUTT LEADER, JULY 27, 2011 Drive Muldoon's Corner Easing Project - update July 2011 Our contact details For more information 0800 100 082 Helen Pinson Ph: 04 894 5229 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.nzta.govt.nz The last truck to negotiate the di cult Muldoon's Corner in June 2011 Coming up in the next two months • Major earthworks continue 18,000m • Construction of retaining walls • Ongoing pavement construction • Construction filling of Two Bobs • Starting construction on the Trig Track Carpark • Drainage installation ongoing • Construction of rock fall channels • Planting native plants on fill sites • Installing rock anchors by abseiling at the top of cut 200 (35m above the new road) • New kerb and channels • Safety barriers installation. It may be that the Rimutaka Hill is not quite as high as that other well-known peak in the Himalayas but the team feel like they have moved mountains to reach this milestone. They have now shifted more than 90% of the 230,000m required to reshape this section of the road. A large portion of that earth came from 'Cut 500', otherwise known as Muldoon's Corner. This is the tight right bend (if you're going uphill) that truck drivers had so much di culty negotiating, but with the new road that will soon be a distant memory. Vehicles started travelling through Muldoon's Corner, rather than around it, for the first time in June and many drivers have already forgotten quite how tricky that corner used to be. Environment matters If you have been following this project from the beginning you will know that two of our biggest challenges are the terrain and the weather. These combine to really test the skill of the team in many ways. One is ensuring that controls are in place and properly managed to lessen any impact on the local environment. The other is the di culty of physically getting the work done. Meanwhile, the team have been battling the elements with horizontal rain, snow and 150km/hr winds really testing the quality of their thermals and wet-weather gear. The steep gradient of this particular area means landscaping has to be done using abseil lines Keeping everyone safe The onset of winter always brings challenges to people travelling on SH2 Rimutaka Hill Road, where poor weather conditions can a ect visibility and drivers should take extra care this winter while work continues on Muldoon's Corner. The severe weather conditions up on the hill mean that keeping tra c cones in place and line markings fresh is a challenge. We ask that drivers remain vigilant and stop and call 0800 100 082 if cones have shifted and lanes are not clear. To aid drivers we have installed flexible plastic posts on the centre line along 200m of the road. We can't put them all through the project because they can't be bolted through the temporary road surface, which is why we are using tra c cones. These are similar to posts on some sections of SH1 near Peka Peka and also, more recently, along SH1 Calabar Road close to Wellington Airport. They not only mark the centreline -- they also stop people from driving on the centreline and muddying it up. When the road is finished, reflective paint will be used for the permanent line-markings and 'cats-eyes' will be in place. We're also trialling edge marker posts (the white posts on the side of the road) to see if they are suitable for the rest of the project. The NZTA is testing this new product to see how the posts perform in high winds, as they are hinged and may be more durable than the flexible posts on the centre line. Regular drivers may also have noticed the new lengths of guardrails that have been installed during the past six months or so. These rails look a little di erent to existing ones as instead of timber posts there are metal ones. The new rails act a bit like a big rubber band. On impact during a crash, energy is absorbed along the rail's entire length, cushioning and catching the vehicle rather than stopping it completely in its tracks. The strength of the rail is in its length, so the metal posts are just really holding it in position o the ground. Kudos for the team When working on major infrastructure projects such as Muldoon's Corner, construction has to be staged so that it causes as little inconvenience as possible to communities and users. A lot of consideration goes into working out how to get the job done without causing long delays. It has been great to have this acknowledged by members of the public, some of whom have been kind enough to take the time to let us know how they feel. Here's just one of the emails we have received: "Just wanted to say how impressed we have been with the road works on the hill. We travel the road every day to work in Wellington and there have been minimal delays since you started work nearly two years ago. We have been fascinated by the changes that seem to occur seamlessly and truly amazed that you have been able to do this realignment without any significant impact on our travel. It can be pretty tedious at the best of times commuting to work but you and your colleagues have made it interesting and without the disruption, I must admit, we anticipated, We look forward to seeing the finished road. " Our thanks to Graeme Prentice, a Wairarapa resident who wrote to project engineer Mohammed Rahiman this month. InthewordsofSirEd... The notorious Muldoon's Corner is no more. To quote one of our Nation's heros, "We knocked the b*****d o !" UPPER HUTT TYRES & ALIGNMENTS Geange St • Ph: 528 8836 • New Tyres • Alignments • Repairs • Alloy Wheel Repairs 3306144AA Working tirelessly for you Here to help: Glenn Cooley, owner of Valley Battery and Tyre Specialists, can test your tyres for any faults. CONTINUED Page 19 The winter season can create slippery roads and bad weather. Luckily, Valley Battery and Tyre Specialists will help to make sure your vehicle is as safe as possible. Owner Glenn Cooley says the conditions are unpredictable during this time of year. ''It's a good time to make sure you are safe. ''You're more likely to have an accident on the roads during winter.'' Valley Battery and Tyre Specialists offer a variety of services, which can help keep your car in great working condition. They can provide almost all battery and tyre services, including wheel alignments and puncture repairs. Valley Battery and Tyre Specialists will also check your battery, alternator or tyres for free. Mr Cooley has about 25 years' experience working with tyres and his father Darryl Cooley is a mechanic, who taught him the skills. ''I used to work after school doing tyres for my father,'' he said. ''I have a love for motorsport. ''It's a bit of a family business.''
July 20th 2011
August 3rd 2011