State Highway 73 (SH73) is a Regional State Highway that often provides the primary inter-regional link between Canterbury and the West Coast. The 231km stretch of road offers community linkage from the towns and villages located within the section of highway from Christchurch City to Greymouth. Because of this, This route security is crucial, as severance can result in significant detours.
The New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) engaged Abseil Access to carry out the rockfall mitigation works on two sections of the Waimakariri Bluffs above SH73 at Arthurs Pass. This portion of the highway is particularly subject to rockfalls, landslides, debris flows, rock avalanches and weathering.
Abseil Access first performed scaling work and removed features that could hinder future work to make the area safe for the drill team (910m3of rock removed from site). 6500m2 of HR Rockfall Drape Mesh was then installed across the two sites by rope access personnel.
Even with three drill rigs running simultaneously, the appalling ground conditions of the slopes made the drilling and anchoring stage of the project an enormous challenge. Using a combination of self-drilling and open hole anchors, our 14 person team successfully completed 1290m of Drilling and anchoring. After 11 months of work (including 6 weeks of lockdown), the job was finally completed in 2020