Busy road ahead

$321m funding to provide opportunities for contractors.

$321m funding to provide opportunities for contractors.

BUNDLING road improvement projects together where possible and working with contractors to develop capacity and capability are keys to managing the massive Government funding for the region, says Gisborne District Council Lifelines Director David Wilson.

The Government is to put $321 million into Tairawhiti roading over the next three years, with $137m coming from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Mr Wilson made a detailed, hour-long presentation on the implications of the funding announcements to the council’s assets and infrastructure committee yesterday.

“The aim will be to get the region’s roading network up to a standard where it can be maintained properly.”

He detailed a two-year physical works programme injection totalling $33.9m; funding support to pay the rates component of $4.8m for emergency repairs totalling more than $30m; and the delivery of a five-year funding pipeline totalling $112m, where construction will start at year three (2020/21).

“How can we deliver a roads programme of this size?,” Mr Wilson asked the council.

“We are currently investigating the right model to use to deliver it, with the NZTA, and the aim is to develop a works programme where projects can be bundled together.

“Packaging up the work that needs to be done, putting projects together, will ensure economy of scale.”

Mr Wilson used the $4.5m planned improvements for Rakaiatane Road to Kaiti Beach as an example.

“We aim to bundle the asphalt work involved in that job with asphalt work in Awapuni Road, Gladstone Road and at the Jolly Stockman corner.

“To do that it would be cost-effective to bring a mobile asphalt plant into the district to provide sufficient material to complete all those projects.”

Mr Wilson said whatever model was chosen, the procurement (tendering) process would be openly conducted.

“There is more work that needs to be done than our current major contractor Downer can handle with its currently available workforce.

“We will likely advertise to contractors via the Government’s electronic tendering service (GETS).

“With a programme of this size, it’s not just matter of throwing the money out to get the work done. We have got to get the best value for money.”

The council, Tairawhiti Roads and NZTA had been working with contractors to develop capacity and capability moving forward over a number of years “so that road works are not boom and bust”.

“Contractors have told us that if the continuity of work is there, then they can prepare for it.”

He also made the point that it would be important to phase works so the flow of work projects was manageable.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Social Devleopment and other providers to ensure employment and training opportunities are maximised, and it’s fantastic to see EIT Tairawhiti is all ready do that.”

Mr Wilson said Tairawhiti would always be competing with the bigger regions when it came to availability of contractors.

“But I can tell you that within an hour of the Government’s announcement here last week, my phone started ringing with inquiries from contractors, some of them currently not working in the district.”

As part of his presentation he also outlined a further $1m set aside for resource support, covering resource consents and monitoring.

“With this level of investment rightly comes a high level of scrutiny. Everything must be 100 percent transparent and accountable.

“The projects must be fit-for-purpose and we need to ensure that the work is checked and then checked again by qualified engineers.”

Mr Wilson was congratulated on the detail in his presentation and for his part in the funding applications the council lodged with the Government.

BUNDLING road improvement projects together where possible and working with contractors to develop capacity and capability are keys to managing the massive Government funding for the region, says Gisborne District Council Lifelines Director David Wilson.

The Government is to put $321 million into Tairawhiti roading over the next three years, with $137m coming from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Mr Wilson made a detailed, hour-long presentation on the implications of the funding announcements to the council’s assets and infrastructure committee yesterday.

“The aim will be to get the region’s roading network up to a standard where it can be maintained properly.”

He detailed a two-year physical works programme injection totalling $33.9m; funding support to pay the rates component of $4.8m for emergency repairs totalling more than $30m; and the delivery of a five-year funding pipeline totalling $112m, where construction will start at year three (2020/21).

“How can we deliver a roads programme of this size?,” Mr Wilson asked the council.

“We are currently investigating the right model to use to deliver it, with the NZTA, and the aim is to develop a works programme where projects can be bundled together.

“Packaging up the work that needs to be done, putting projects together, will ensure economy of scale.”

Mr Wilson used the $4.5m planned improvements for Rakaiatane Road to Kaiti Beach as an example.

“We aim to bundle the asphalt work involved in that job with asphalt work in Awapuni Road, Gladstone Road and at the Jolly Stockman corner.

“To do that it would be cost-effective to bring a mobile asphalt plant into the district to provide sufficient material to complete all those projects.”

Mr Wilson said whatever model was chosen, the procurement (tendering) process would be openly conducted.

“There is more work that needs to be done than our current major contractor Downer can handle with its currently available workforce.

“We will likely advertise to contractors via the Government’s electronic tendering service (GETS).

“With a programme of this size, it’s not just matter of throwing the money out to get the work done. We have got to get the best value for money.”

The council, Tairawhiti Roads and NZTA had been working with contractors to develop capacity and capability moving forward over a number of years “so that road works are not boom and bust”.

“Contractors have told us that if the continuity of work is there, then they can prepare for it.”

He also made the point that it would be important to phase works so the flow of work projects was manageable.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Social Devleopment and other providers to ensure employment and training opportunities are maximised, and it’s fantastic to see EIT Tairawhiti is all ready do that.”

Mr Wilson said Tairawhiti would always be competing with the bigger regions when it came to availability of contractors.

“But I can tell you that within an hour of the Government’s announcement here last week, my phone started ringing with inquiries from contractors, some of them currently not working in the district.”

As part of his presentation he also outlined a further $1m set aside for resource support, covering resource consents and monitoring.

“With this level of investment rightly comes a high level of scrutiny. Everything must be 100 percent transparent and accountable.

“The projects must be fit-for-purpose and we need to ensure that the work is checked and then checked again by qualified engineers.”

Mr Wilson was congratulated on the detail in his presentation and for his part in the funding applications the council lodged with the Government.

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