The diversion outlet of the Waimea Community Dam is due to be completed in August, allowing work to begin on the dam’s embankment in September.
The first major dam project in New Zealand in more than 25 years, it is being built by Fulton Hogan and Taylors Contracting for Tasman District Council and Waimea Irrigators Ltd to irrigate the fruit, vegetables, hops, and grapes of the Waimea Plains.
A major focus over recent weeks has been ensuring a stable base, ensuring water tightness on the rock that is naturally highly foliated (fissured). To this end, a stable grout mix is being injected up to 35 meters into the ground, and the base rock painstakingly cleaned and any loose material removed. Such was the intensity of this process that the rock on which the dam will be built was hand-cleaned by a 20-person team at an average of one square meter per person per hour.
Fulton Hogan’s structures manager Matt Loach says:
“With so many people working on their hands and knees it had all the appearances of an archaeological dig,”
Due to be completed in March 2022, the dam itself will be 180 meters wide at the base, six meters wide at the crest with an overall height of 55 meters. It will 220 meters long at the top and 80 meters at the base and the reservoir will hold 13 million cubic meters of water.
Pictured, from left, is construction manager Dean Quickenden, structures manager Matt Loach and Fulton Hogan’s general manager, construction Justin Mcdowell. They are standing in front of the first 120 tonnes telescopic crawler GTC-1200 crane in New Zealand, purchased for the project. The JV also has one of the largest excavators available, a 90 tonne Hitachi 890. Courtesy of Fulton Hogan.
Source: Fulton Hogan