By Greg Cook, Senior Engineering Geologist/Team Leader Risk and Resilience
In February 2018, the West Coast of New Zealand was hit by ex-tropical cyclones Fehi (1st February 2018) and Gita (20th February 2018), which caused significant damage to SH6 at several locations. Wave overtopping and considerable scour forced the temporary closure of the SH6 whereby large portions of the northbound lane were undermined and washed away.
WSP Opus provided expert technical advice to support the emergency response, and designed and are supervising the construction of subsequent urgent repair works of several coastal protection structures to reinstate the highway.
Discussions of the repair options required an understanding of the long-term viability of transportation links in their current format, and taking a resilient/reformed approach to ensuring existing and future service levels will be maintained in the long-term to minimise the impact of the loss of function on primary industries, local communities and the tourism sector.