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The project is a logistical challenge on all sorts of levels, not least that Memorial Park must be completed in time for Anzac Day 2015 – no ifs, buts or maybes. “Timetabling is against us,” says Kenderdine. “We can’t open on April 26: the site has to be camera-ready on April 25, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli.” Then there is the project location. “State Highway 1 is critical lifeline infrastructure so the project is designed around a 2,500-year return period,” says Kenderdine. “It requires careful structural and geotechnical investigation when you’re dealing with alluvial soils such as those around Taranaki St and the Basin Reserve. As everyone knows from the Christchurch earthquakes, that also means taking into account how liquefaction affects structures built in significant earthquake zones.” “Then we have the sheer logistics of building a relatively large infrastructure project on a very small island between two roads. Buckle St is still running on the south of the site while SH1 is now on the north of the site. So, we’ve got this narrow strip of land from THE NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL PARK IS THE GOVERNMENT’S KEY PROJECT TO COMMEMORATE THE CENTENARY OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR. THE PROJECT WILL BE UNDERTAKEN IN SEVERAL PHASES: DIGGING THE TRENCH AND CONSTRUCTING THE TUNNEL BUILDING AND PLANTING THE NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL PARK FINE TUNING THE INNER CITY BYPASS While the realignment of the road could be considered as a curtainraiser to the main project, it was, in itself, no small feat: it meant constructing a diversion to cater for some 25,000 motorists daily over the next two years. And it had to be done in the heart of a busy city. “We had to block off roads at around 10pm then have them open again by three the next morning. So we had a tiny five-hour window where there was a hive of activity, realigning traffic islands, laying asphalt, line-marking and synchronising traffic lights. A number of team members didn’t get a lot of sleep during that period.” Memorial Park Alliance was set up specifically for this project. Kenderdine sees it as a ‘virtual company’ incorporating the client, contractor and engineering consultants. “It’s a great project to work on with a team of highly motivated people,” he says. “There is excellent camaraderie, and we are very lucky to have some of New Zealand’s leading design consultants, geotechnical engineers and environmental advisers on site.” Mount Cook School “There are always challenges with your immediate neighbours” explains Duncan Kenderdine, “we have a primary school right next door and they were very concerned about the state highway moving. But we’ve got them involved in competitions and naming the cranes - we’ve got a 100 ton crane called Mount Crania and a 75 ton crane which is Crane-a-saurus. There are big badges on the back and the children are very proud of that. We’ve got huge buy-in from parents; we’ve got ongoing classes with experiments - how do we make things fly around the room - and our young engineers go over there to bring it to life.” 16 / DOWNER / IN BLACK & WHITE


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