Quality Roading and Services (QRS) has earned industry acclaim for an ingenious bridge repair that involved a dinghy and two second-hand swimming pools.
The Wairoa civil contracting company won a Civil Construction New Zealand (CCNZ) Hawke’s Bay East Coast Award for its efforts to brace and reopen Te Reinga Bridge in May this year.
The award recognises the passion of QRS staff to re-open the bridge for locals, cooperation between contractors, and Kiwi ingenuity.
Te Reinga Bridge is 35km from Wairoa. It’s the crucial main link to Wairoa and Gisborne for people living in the Ruakituri area.
In March this year the bridge suffered severe damage after heavy rains and flooding. Two piers subsided and the bridge deck bowed. The bridge was closed which had social, educational, and financial impacts on the Te Reinga, Ruakituri and Tiniroto communities. Families had to drive a 90-minute alternative route just to travel what would otherwise normally be a few hundred metres.
Wairoa District Council (WDC) created a three-pronged solution for the contract: repair the existing bridge, restore pedestrian access, and potentially reopen the bridge to light vehicles.
While QRS’s Routine Division made sure the Ohuka Rd detour stayed open, the company’s Capital Division took on the lead contractor role and worked alongside WDC, WSP, Fulton Hogan, and Lattey Group to open the bridge to light traffic as soon as practically possible.
QRS is a Council-controlled Trading Organisation. Wairoa District Council mayor Craig Little congratulated the team for its innovative repair work. “This project demonstrated the merits of having a locally-based contracting company with the capability that QRS has.”
Mr Little says the emergency repair response demonstrates the outcomes possible when Council builds and maintains strong relationships with QRS and other contracting companies. Council’s roading engineering team had a huge amount of work to deal with over the March rain events. Access was the priority. Reopening the Te Reinga Bridge to light traffic in seven weeks, instead of the expected 13 weeks, is evidence of the reliable and passionate people we have in our district.
QRS chief executive Jeremy Harker says the Te Reinga Bridge project is an example of the length local staff will go to for residents. “The response in April and May was driven by good old fashioned neighbourhood enthusiasm. Everyone on the wider team knew someone affected by the bridge closure and wanted to be part of a safe and fast solution.”
The CCNZ award for projects less than $200,000 was presented to QRS staff at a CCNZ ceremony in Hastings on Friday [25 November]. It’s the second time in two years QRS has won a CCNZ accolade. In 2021 the company received a construction award for a large sea wall it built in order to secure a cliff face on Mahia East Coast Rd.
1 December 2022
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