Hauraki Rail Trail Bridges - Sustainability Award Finalist

Hauraki Rail Trail Bridges – Wins Sustainability Award

Congratualtions to Frame Group on successfully taking out the Sustainability Category of the NZ Timber Design Awards 2012. Trusted Weka SG8™ products were utilised in the innovative designs

The design and construction of 25 bridges ranging from 4m to 75m involving the use of ATS Timber Weka SG8™ Wet Radiata Pine timber has been selected as a finalist for the Sustainability Award in the NZ Wood Timber Design Awards 2012. The Hauraki Rail Trail is part of Nga Haerenga, the NZ Cycle Trail and was opened in May 2012.

A successful supply partnership with a local Approved Reseller who supplied the contractor saw ATS Timber products used extensively in the construction. Timber was chosen by Frame Group as an environmentally sustainable material and was a cost effective alternative to concrete and steel along with many other benefits that met the objectives of Nga Haerenga.

Radiata Pine timber was selected for construction of the many cycleway bridges because of the benefits over traditional steel or concrete options and the fit with the ecological and economic objectives of Nga Haerenga. Traditional bridge styling with modern connection detailing and prefabrication methods produced 25 attractive bridges ranging in length from 4m to 75m.

Short spans consist of pole beams, glue-laminated beams for longer spans, and timber suspension bridges provide the longest spans. Innovative barrier detailing facilitated prefabrication and efficiency of construction.

Radiata Pine timber was chosen because:

– Timber offers a lightweight option ideal for weak soils.
– Timber enabled construction in difficult locations without heavy craneage.
– Costs were significantly less than concrete, steel or hardwood options.
– Timber is aesthetically consistent with the railway theme, providing useful function and interesting form.
– The suspension, glue-laminated and pole bridges use common construction detailing, giving the structures a consistent appearance.
– The bridges were built with basic timber construction equipment and skills, hence small local contractors were involved in the construction.
– NZ-grown timber is an environmentally sustainable material, and its use supported the local industry.
– Timber bridges require minimal maintenance.

This project demonstrates the sustainability benefits and advantages arising from use of timber for recreational infrastructure, rather than more common steel or concrete options, and exemplifies the opportunities and sustainability benefits that arise from the considered use of NZ Radiata Pine. See more at NZ Wood

The Hauraki Rail Trail is the easiest riding Trail in New Zealand, with various stages allowing for comfortable 3 day Rail Trail cycle rides. The trail is in close proximity to Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga and is accessible from Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Waihi/Waikino. The temperate climate on the Coromandel Peninsula and the Hauraki Plains provides a great all-year round riding experience.

The 82km trail is the easiest cycle trail in New Zealand to ride with the longest tunnel 1.1Km and showcases some of the best scenery New Zealand has to offer, from the Pohutukawa trees on the Thames Coast, through lush green Waikato farm lands, to areas rich in pioneering history. A major highlight includes riding through the stunning Karangahake Gorge, one of the “14 wonders of New Zealand”. The trail follows the path of two historic railway lines, running from Thames to Paeroa and Waikino to Te Aroha, while a new path will link Waikino to Waihi.

See more about this amazing trail at http://www.haurakirailtrail.co.nz/

See project featured on Timber Design Mag website http://www.timberdesignmag.com/projects/pine-eco-bridges/