In August 2016 we were engaged by the Memorial Park Alliance (MPA) to assist with a unique project to upgrade Waitangi Wharf on Chatham Island. MPA is a collaborative working alliance between the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), AECOM, Downers, HEB Construction and Tonkin & Taylor. Following their successful delivery of the Wellington Memorial Park project, MPA were appointed to undertake the Chatham Island wharf upgrade.
We were engaged to design a temporary wharf structure that would allow the local community to continue commercial and touristic operations via the wharf. We provided concept, detail design and construction support for the subsequent Temporary Fisherman’s Wharf project.
This project required a high degree of communication, and fast turnaround to meet tight construction timeframes. Both things we are well known for at BVT. We were able to develop concept designs for community approval within two weeks with a full design available for peer review before the end of the month.
Some key challenges of this project included uncertainty of local rock strength, clear presentation of the proposal for local buy-in, and aligning the build pace with main wharf upgrade pace.
Uncertainty of local rock strength
Three parallel concepts were developed to allow design to progress. The concepts were aligned so that major structural elements would still be valid if rock strength proved minimal. An in-situ loading test was designed, utilising on-island materials.
Obtaining local buy in
Open source 3D modelling software was used as it could be easily accessed and understood by all stakeholders for evaluating concepts, even on the island where computing power and internet connections are limited.
We kept close communications with the MPA project team during peer review and consent process to address any information requests as swiftly as possible in order to keep the project progressing and meet the specified timeframes.
We continued to provide construction design support as the project progressed. Variations were required to allow for machinery limitations, material limitations and emergent geotechnical data. These variations were completed quickly and construction was completed in early December 2016, only five months after initial engagement.
The local fishermen are now using the wharf daily as the main wharf is upgraded.