Between Ohakune and National Park
The Makatote railway viaduct is located between Ohakune and National Park in the Central North Island and is a critical link in the North Island Main Trunk Line.
The last full repaint of the viaduct was carried out during the 1950’s with subsequent touch ups completed in the 1990’s. This life extension project will be the first full refurbishment of the steel structure in 60 years. The scope of the project includes:
- the design, build and installation of a complex access and containment system that can be moved along the structure as work progresses;
- removal, containment and disposal of the existing lead based coatings system;
- replacement of heavily corroded steel components;
- strengthening of the steel trusses with the addition of new steel components; and
- application of a new red oxide coatings system to restore the viaduct to its original form.
The project will be carried out over 24 months with a budget of approximately 75,000 man hours. This will requiring a crew of up to 30 people on site throughout the duration the works.
This is a logistically and operationally challenging project, particularly with respect to access and containment of the structure, the unforgiving nature of the climate in the central North Island, and the ongoing demands of working over a highly sensitive environment that is home to a number of endangered species.
A specialised access and containment system has been designed and developed for the project and will consist of a combination of hanging scaffold and a pier access system. Site establishment will take place at the southern abutment of the viaduct and work will progress in a south to north direction. Strict controls have been developed and incorporated into all project activities to ensure that the works do not impact upon the local environment. In addition to this, KiwiRail have initiated and funded a stoat trapping programme to be administered during the course of the works in an effort to further enhance the local bird population in the area. The project programme and the coatings system have been designed with the difficult climatic conditions of the site in mind which will allow painting to continue throughout the year.