Manawatu gorge flythrough

2 July 2019 Kate Palmer

Leading design and engineering consultancy WSP Opus is delighted to be part of the successful Advance Alliance, selected by the NZ Transport Agency as the preferred tenderer to deliver the Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway project.

The project is a crucial state highway replacement through the Manawatu Gorge, restoring a key connection that was lost when the existing route was closed in 2017 following a number of dangerous slips.

Peter Wiles, WSP Opus Director – Transport, is delighted that the leading transport experts will be instrumental in connecting the Manawatu with Tararua, Hawke’s Bay and northern Wairarapa. The Advance Alliance will see WSP Opus work alongside partners Fulton Hogan, HEB and Aurecon.

“With our alliance partners we look forward to delivering a safe and resilient solution for one of the most important transport projects in the country. Not only will Te Ahu a Turanga connect communities and deliver significant economic benefits when it opens in 2024, it will be an environmental, ecological and cultural project exemplar.”

Te Ahu a Turanga has been chosen as the project name in recognition of the spiritual, cultural and historical significance of the land.

WSP Opus is involved in roading, structural and geotechnical design, drainage design, hydrological modelling, planning and consenting, road lighting and electrical disciplines

Wiles says WSP’s global expertise will be called on for specialised disciplines such as wind modelling for wind farms and structures.

Key facts

  • About 7,600 vehicles on average used the SH3 gorge route every day when it was open and about 1,100 of these vehicles were trucks
  • The new 11.5km long road will include roundabout connections with State Highway 57 south of Ashhurst and with State Highway 3 west of Woodville.
  • The road will have two lanes in each direction over the majority of the route, separated by a median strip and a new bridge crossing the Manawatū River.
  • The project design will include the provision of safe and appropriate walking and cycling facilities along the new route. • Advance will deliver the design, regional consenting and construction of the project.
  • The total project cost is $620 million, this includes the project business case, purchase of property required for the project, and the pre-implementation and construction phases

Watch: To see a stunning animation of the project, click here