Once completed, the expressway will connect Auckland with businesses and agricultural centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty. The new expressway will improve travel times, mitigate congestion in smaller communities, and improve economic growth through enabling the more efficient movement of people.
Constructed in seven sections, Opus were contracted to carry out ecological monitoring works to facilitate the construction of the 15.2km Huntly section. Staff from both the United Kingdom and Australia were seconded to New Zealand to assist the Department of Conservation in monitoring the bat population throughout a stage of de-vegetation works. Bats are not widespread throughout New Zealand and Opus’ experts were called in from across the globe to monitor bats via echolocation calls which are measured via devices hung in the surrounding trees. If there were no bat calls for three consecutive nights, the assumption was made that there were no roosts in the area and the trees were permitted to be felled. The felling process was also monitored to ensure that any bats found could be rescued and relocated.
A global team has added an important layer of field experience as well as management to the project.
Opus’ ecological expertise is helping build our reputation as a business that understands the need for human-centred infrastructure with an eye to the future, whilst protecting our natural habitat.