In late December 2016 Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced the establishment of a alliance to repair State Highway 1 and the rail line north and south of Kaikoura which was damaged by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the 14th November 2016.
Higgins is a member of the alliance known as the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) with other members which include the NZ Transport Agency, KiwiRail, Fulton Hogan, Downer and HEB Construction.
The North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) Alliance was formed to rebuild the rail and road network between Christchurch and Picton afterearthquake. Most of the earthquake damage was on a section of coastline approximately 30km north and 30km south of Kaikōura. The earthquake caused more than 30 major slips that covered the road and rail network. Approximately 1 million cubic metres of material had to be moved. Multiple road and rail bridges were damaged by the quake and 24 tunnels were damaged. The estimated cost of the repair was $1.25 billion.
With considerable grit and determination, the Alliance team have successfully met all their targeted milestones to date and received industry acclaim for their ability to solve problems, work collaboratively in an expert way to achieve the mammoth logistical challenges and targets.
The NCTIR project has been recognised for project delivery excellence by both industry and the community with two significant awards.
NCTIR was named as the winner of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) 2018 People’s Choice Award beating out projects from around the globe. This is an award that requires public voting and demonstrates the significance of the project to the lives of New Zealanders.
The NCTIR project also received the prestigious Rail Technical Society of Australasia’s Biennial Project Award, for the reopening of the Main North Rail Line between Blenheim and Christchurch just nine months after the 7.8 magnitude Kaikōura earthquake. The judging panel described the Main North Line earthquake recovery project as an “Inspiring example of how railway people respond energetically and successfully to the most severe challenges.”