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Okiato Car Ferry Ramp

An urgent upgrade to a vital piece of maritime infrastructure at Kororāreka Russell is now complete, four days ahead of schedule.

The Okiato Car Ferry ramp repairs project (scheduled to run from August 28- September 30) was officially finished on Wednesday (September 27) thanks to favourable weather conditions and an expert team of commercial divers.

Far North Holdings Limited (FNHL) Maritime general manager Chris Galbraith said the ramp had required urgent infrastructure repairs due to erosion and to ensure community connectivity could continue with minimal disruption.

Galbraith said thanks to the early finish, he believed the project would come under their original $400k budget.

“Everything has gone really well and we had a great contractor who has worked with us to minimise cost and to also deal with the unknowns,” Galbraith said.

“I anticipate we will come in well under budget which I will be able to quantify in the coming weeks.”

Galbraith said there had been a few surprises along the way, particularly the amount of concrete required to support the ramp’s foundation.

He said looking at the ramp from the surface, it wasn’t obvious how much structural work had been undertaken and even he had been surprised by some of the complexities of the work carried out under water.

“Under the ramp we discovered old ‘deadmans’ buried, which is a term used to describe anchor points for loads that can be affixed or transferred to,” Galbraith said.

“We also found some mass pour concrete that would have been some of the earliest remnants of the old ramp structures going back around 80 years.

“I’m not sure exactly how much concrete we poured, but we’ll be able to provide an update soon on just how much concrete was used to pump into the cavities!”

Operations are now fully back to normal and Galbraith wished to thank everyone involved in the project for making it such a huge success.


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