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DUNCAN KENDERDINE Every day, when Alliance project director Duncan Kenderdine steps out in his safety helmet and boots, he enters a world of intrigue, history, conspiracy… and even buried treasure. It comes with the territory at the National War Memorial Park development in the heart of Wellington, where Kenderdine and his team are ‘undergrounding’ Buckle Street from the edge of the Basin Reserve to Taranaki Street for the NZ Transport Agency and creating a new park over the top of it. Bearing down on the project is the full weight of history. This, after all, is the National War Memorial, which commemorates the 300,000 New Zealanders who have served their country and the 30,000 who died in conflicts ranging from the Boer War, the two World Wars, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and peace-keeping missions around the globe. Here, too, stands the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, a casualty of the First World War whose remains were exhumed from the Somme battlefield in France. There is also the Hall of Memories and the Carillon, which stands 50 metres high and has been a Wellington landmark since 1932. If it were not enough that, on such a sensitive and emotionally charged site, the project is very high-profile and carries a great deal of responsibility; the work is complex, technically challenging and logistically very demanding. The first major milestone, reached in January 2013, was the moving of State Highway One 40 metres north of its previous alignment. ”This allows us to build the tunnel where the existing road is,” explains Kenderdine. Since then the team has been digging the trench in which the tunnel will be set, prior to constructing the tunnel itself. DOWNER / IN BLACK & WHITE / 15


Downer_Magazine_Issue_One
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