With four 175,000-litre storage tanks now buried underground and the gravity main over halfway complete, stage one of the $52 million shovel-ready Dunkirk Road wastewater upgrade is on track to meet its completion in September next year.
The joint shovel-ready project between Watercare and Kāinga Ora will help reduce wastewater overflows and cater for population growth in the Panmure area.
By working with Fulton Hogan, the agencies plan to deliver these infrastructure projects in two stages over the next three years to allow for greater urbanisation.
Breaking ground in July last year, Stage 1 – the construction of the pump station on the corner of Dunkirk Road and Tangaroa Street and the trenching of a new gravity main and connection pipes – is going smoothly, says project manager Jason Salmon.
"A huge milestone for stage one would have to be the installation of the four storage tanks in late February.
"Each of the 24-metre-long storage tanks weighed 5.3 tonnes each and had to be individually lifted in and placed six metres down into the underground structure to perfectly align with the manholes and inlet pipes managing flows received via the gravity main.
"For me, this was the most significant achievement in the project as we safely installed the storage tanks in two days rather than the four we anticipated, enabling us to maintain good momentum on the project. These tanks can hold 650,000 litres, so they’ll go a long way to preventing overflows in wet weather.”
Salmon says the focus for the project team is to finish trenching and installing the gravity main that travels between the wastewater pump station and Johnson Reserve. An additional gravity main will be constructed during stage two to connect to the pump station.
"We've dug about 900 metres of the gravity main with a connector pipe running alongside it connecting flows from people's properties.
"Over the next two months we’ll be removing the 160 sheet piles from the wastewater pump station using a hydraulic vibration hammer mounted to a crane.
Salmon acknowledges that the work has caused more disruption than anticipated.
"However, we – alongside Kāinga Ora and construction partner Fulton Hogan - are dedicated to keeping residents updated and implementing measures to reduce the impact on the community.
“These measures include limiting work hours to Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm and ensuring that noise, dust, and vibrations are within acceptable levels.”
Tāmaki Regeneration development and commercial manager Daniel Henderson says the Dunkirk project is a critical piece of the infrastructure, with twofold benefits for network performance and enabling growth.
“We are pleased to be working collaboratively with the infrastructure team at Watercare to build the critical infrastructure needed to support large-scale development planned for Tāmaki.
"The Tāmaki large-scale development, which is being delivered by Kāinga Ora and Tāmaki Regeneration, will see 10,500 new homes delivered over the next 15 years. In addition, the private sector is forecast to build another 4000 houses within the Tāmaki boundary."