Two Te Mato Vai project officials - Construction Advisor Miki Schmidt and Material Quality Specialist John Batty – provided information on both orders, the first of which was issued due to health and safety issues.
During construction recently, it was found that no staff from local power utility Te Aponga were on site while CCECC workers were trench digging while carrying out work in replacing the island’s ring mains.
Not having staff on site could cause power outages or serious injury, emphasised Schmidt.
Batty added language barriers further complicate the construction process.
“We’ve got the Chinese workers who are digging around electric cables who only speak Mandarin, and we speak English,” said Batty. “There’s a serious communication issue there.”
“Our responsibility in terms of supervision is to get everyone home safely at the end of the day,” he said.
A second work-stop order was issued due to the CCECC having too much trench open, adversely affecting traffic flows.
According to project guidelines, the contractor cannot exceed a limit of 200 metres of open trench.
Yesterday, TMV Communications Advisor Jaewynn McKay confirmed work has resumed on both the main and back roads after a meeting between stakeholders late last week.
Apart from the stop-work orders, both officials confirmed a number of quality issues have been identified with work done to-date and these are currently being addressed.
In one example, fire hydrants – which will be placed every 120 metres along the ring mains – were constructed along the back road at an inappropriate height by the CCECC.
Instead of being installed below the road surface, where they eventually will be closed by a metal covering and flush with the road, the hydrants were built too high with the potential to become an obstacle to road traffic.
The issue has since been resolved by the contractor, said Batty.
Additionally, both officials said issues have been discovered regarding the quality of construction of the ring mains, specifically pipe construction and including welding and pipe alignment – which was described as how the ring main pipes contour when placed in the ground.
Batty said issues regarding the welding of pipes are to be expected, based on his experience in prior projects in New Zealand and Australia.
“That is why you have a testing plan, so if issues are found retrospectively, things can be checked,” he said.
As with the fire hydrants, Batty said quality of work issues are being managed as they arise, and the CCECC is being cooperative in dealing with the matter.
There are no issues with the actual manufacturing of the pipes, he added.
Section two of the ring mains on the back road – between Tiare Village and Manea Foods – is nearly ready to begin hydrostatic (pressure) testing, where the pipes will be tested to 1.25 times their standard pressure bearing.
If they pass, they should be ready for use, said Batty.
Certain areas where work has been undertaken but workers are still awaiting parts from overseas are currently marked with cones.