Global award for Kaikoura’s rail and road earthquake recovery

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Road works . . .Work in progress in the race to get State Highway 1 open to the north and south of Kaikoura following the November 2016 earthquake. File photo

The rebuild of the main north railway and State Highway One following the Kaikoura earthquake has earned global recognition.

KiwiRail, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance have been announced as winners of the Institution of Civil Engineers People’s Choice Award by the London-based institution, beating nine other major engineering projects into the top spot.

KiwiRail’s Acting Chief Executive Todd Moyle says winning a global engineering award ahead of city railways in India, innovative British windfarms and a huge river bridge in Scotland is testament to Kiwi ingenuity and engineering excellence,

“This is an amazing win for New Zealand and highlights this country’s expertise in civil engineering and earthquake recovery,” says Mr Moyle.

“We’re known as masters of number eight wire thinking, but we’ve taken that attitude and turned it into engineering excellence recognised around the world.

“KiwiRail, our partners NZTA and the NCTIR alliance brought together the best civil engineering and construction capability in New Zealand to deliver what was a massively complex project. This award is for everyone who worked on that project, and the communities who supported us over the two years it took,” he says.

The project was the only southern hemisphere finalist.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a professional membership body for civil engineers worldwide who work across government and industry. This year is the first year the award has been open to entrants from outside the UK, to mark ICE’s bicentenary.

Other finalists included the 2.7 km long Forth River replacement bridge in Scotland; an innovative offshore wind farm generating electricity for 34,000 household near Newcastle, England; a new metro rail system in Hyderabad India; and a Hong Kong Harbour area waste water treatment scheme.