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Urgent upgrade nearing completion

An urgent upgrade to the Okiato Car Ferry ramp at Kororāreka Russell is nearing completion.

The project, which commenced on August 28, has involved a team of specialist commercial divers working under water every night between 10.30pm and 5am to conduct repairs to the existing ramp.

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

“I’m happy to share the preparation work is almost complete and forms the base for the new infrastructure to go in,” Galbraith said.

“Conditions have been favourable, and the dive team have been fortunate with clear night skies of late.

“On Monday (September 19) our first concrete trucks arrived and holes have been drilled in the top ramp ready to pump concrete into the voids.”

Galbraith added there had also been a few surprises along the way, which was to be expected when working with such dated infrastructure.

“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.

“They consist of steel beams driven into the ground and where wires or braces can come off and onto the structure to be supported.

“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.”

Works are due to be complete in the next two weeks.


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