High revs on expressway construction

As the 18-kilometre M2PP Expressway forges ahead from MacKays Crossing to Peka Peka on the Kāpiti Coast, a dedicated Boffa Miskell team is working at the Paraparaumu-based M2PP Alliance project office, providing landscape, ecology and urban design input.

The pressure is on to complete, by mid-2017, the construction of the seven-year expressway project. The expressway will form part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, one of the Government’s seven ‘roads of national significance’ being developed by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).

Gaining consent

In fact, the pressure has been on since the M2PP Alliance first engaged Boffa Miskell in January 2010 in the tendering process. Boffa Miskell then worked as part of the Alliance in the pre-consent phase to provide ecology, landscape architecture, urban design and cultural advisory services, as well as joint planning services in the preparation of the Assessment of Effects (AEE) for the entire project. The team presented expert evidence at the Board of Inquiry hearing in 2012/2013, including extensive landscape and ecological mitigation proposals.

As Consenting Manager, Boffa Miskell planner Robert Schofield, had overall responsibility for the huge task of preparing the Notice of Requirement and resource consent applications, which included co-ordinating the outcomes of public consultation and the input of numerous specialists into the route selection and assessments of effects. He also led the extensive planners’ conferencing and preparation of consent conditions that paralleled the hearing.

“It was crucial to have a route selection process that would withstand intense scrutiny,” Robert recalls. “We used multiple criteria to assess and refine the options, incorporating the results of two major public consultations and addressing the major issues, such as the significant effects on Māori and ecological values.

“The huge concerted effort of the whole M2PP project team enabled the design to be done and approvals obtained in just three years.”

Into action

Team collaboration is still strong in the detailed design, specification and construction phase now being carried out by the M2PP alliance, comprising NZTA, Beca, Fletcher Construction and Higgins Group, supported by Goodmans Contractors, Synergine and Boffa Miskell.

Boffa Miskell is responsible for addressing the complex landscape, ecology and urban design consent conditions through 25 site-specific management plans – all requiring Kāpiti Coast District and Greater Wellington Regional Council certification.

With all disciplines working together at the project office, and able to confer directly with the construction crews, design and implementation decisions are rapid and well-informed, according to Boffa Miskell team leader and landscape architect, Bron Faulkner.

“It’s ideal for integrating our services and optimising the synergies. For instance, the large areas of landscape and ecological mitigation planting have been designed to off-set stream and wetland loss, and contribute to stormwater management, visual amenity, urban form and biodiversity values. That integrated approach will give the community a lasting legacy.”

For further information please contact Bron Faulkner

29 September 2014