Tree trimming to prevent power blackouts

Starting next Sunday night (9 July), the New Zealand Transport Agency and Porirua City Council will be trimming vegetation along State Highway 1 to clear power lines. This work will go on for eight nights, and also includes some other maintenance and road safety work. It follows the power cut from three weeks ago, which was caused by trees growing through the lines.

They’ve provided the following information for Pukerua Bay residents.

Click for full-sized map of work

Trees along the state highway through Pukerua Bay will be trimmed to help avoid further power blackouts, such as the recent outage caused by branches hitting power lines. This is a long-term maintenance solution that follows the emergency pruning done in the nights immediately after the June power outage.

Download PDF version of this information, including map.

Vegetation control programme

Pohutukawa and other native trees through Pukerua Bay form a frontage along the highway that is a special feature of this scenic area. However, the frontage is overdue for a tidy-up. It has become infested by self-seeded weed trees — particularly wattles — that are crowding out native plant seedlings. Tree branches overhang the road in places and are knocked by trucks carrying large loads.

The footpath has become colonised by mats of grass, making it difficult for pedestrians to walk side by side.

To resolve these issues, a programme of vegetation control has been planned by the Porirua City Council and New Zealand Transport Agency. This will be carried out by professional tree-trimmers over eight nights, starting Sunday 9 July 2017.

Other works

We appreciate that eight nights of work are not ideal for residents living nearby. We are scheduling the work to confine the noisiest activities to the first part of each night.

Knowing that other repair and maintenance works are planned for this area, we have decided to combine several of these projects to get them done during the same time. This will reduce the amount of nightwork needed in the coming months.

Traffic on the highway through the settlement will be managed with stop/go traffic control during the works.

Refer to the map showing where this work will be done.

Nights 1–2, Sunday 9 July, Monday 10 July

  • Install a new guardrail north of Pukerua Beach Road — 60m along the northbound side of the highway
  • Tree and other vegetation trimming
  • General highway maintenance including channel clearing

Nights 3–5, Tuesday 11 July to Thursday 13 July

  • Repair a patch in the road near Te Pari Pari Road
  • Tree and other vegetation trimming
  • General highway maintenance including channel clearing, guardrail repairs and painting traffic island

Night 6, Sunday 16 July

  • Replace light bulbs
  • Tree and other vegetation trimming
  • General highway maintenance including channel clearing

Nights 7–8, Monday 17 July, Tuesday 18 July

  • Make safe the footpath north of the Teihana Road/SH1 shopping centre, pending future repair
  • Tree and other vegetation trimming
  • General highway maintenance including channel clearing and guardrail repair Wairaka Road SH1 garden
  • Contractor Capital Journeys will work with the Pukerua Bay Residents Association to upgrade the roadside garden at the Wairaka Road intersection.

Please note: Wet weather may delay works to the next available night in the programme.

Tree and vegetation programme

  • Trimming branches away from power lines and highway
  • Removing trees — southbound side of the highway only — that a) have been interfering with power lines or are at risk of doing so; b) are leaning out into the pedestrian space
  • Trees removed will be replaced with low-growing natives
  • Removing weed trees such as wattle, cherry and tree lucerne
  • Trimming shrubbery away from the footpath
  • Removing grass growing over the footpath
  • Mowing grass verges

Removal of the weed trees and trimming back of other trees will allow light through the canopy to allow native vegetation to regenerate and grow upright. Future maintenance will include removal of weed tree seedlings.

Night work 9–18 July

The noisiest works will be confined to the first part of the night with most being done by approximately 11pm:

  • Motorised chainsaw work
  • Wood-chipping to clear branches from the highway
  • Hydro-vacuum suction near Pukerua Beach Road to locate underground services during the guardrail installation
  • Milling of the patch of road needing repair near Te Pari Pari Road

After 11pm: Branches will be cut using quieter battery chainsaws and hydraulic cutting arms. They will be removed to the parking bay at the bottom of Coast Road to be chipped during the daytime.

The posts for the guardrail near Pukerua Beach Road will be installed using a hydraulic vibrating driver.

While we always aim to do our work with as little disturbance as possible, we realise that machinery noise, access and speed restrictions can be a hassle. However, nightwork when traffic is light enables the job to be done quicker and more efficiently, and with significantly less disruption to this busy route which carries about 25,000 vehicles each day. The alternative is long queues of traffic and hold-ups for locals trying to go about their daily business.

Thank you from Porirua City Council and the Transport Agency

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding while this important work is underway in your community.

For any queries on the programme and to stay up to date with what’s happening, please contact: customer@capitaljourneys.co.nz.

Follow www.nzta.govt.nz/wellington-maintenance to keep up with weekly roadworks.

Capital Journeys provides state highway maintenance on behalf of the Transport Agency. The professional arborists from Treescape will undertake the tree and vegetation trimming.

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