All go for heavy haul through NP streets

Dave Brown isn't worried about Tuesday night's big heavy haul through the streets of New Plymouth – he's done it 200 times before.

The Auckland man, managing director of heavy haulage specialists Multi-Trans, will be in charge when Fitzroy Engineering's 650-tonne gas platform accommodation module is carted from the Waiwhakaiho Valley to Port Taranaki.

In the 1980s Mr Brown worked for another heavy haul company and was project manager responsible for carting 200 loads along exactly the same route during construction of the big gas-to-gasoline plant at Motunui.

"So I'm pretty used to it all. The only difference this time is that the load will be going in the opposite direction," he said.

Plenty of planning has gone into Tuesday's big shift, which will take the giant load out of Vickers Rd onto Devon Rd, over the Waiwhakaiho Bridge on to Northgate, up and over the ramps at the Paynters Ave bridge, right onto Hobson St and along to a sharp left turn to Molesworth St, then straight through to Port Taranaki.

To allow this to happen smoothly, traffic islands opposite the Vickers Rd intersection will be removed, some trees have been pruned, traffic lights will be temporarily removed, street light stands either removed or turned so they face away from the tarmac, and the entire route will be turned into a "clearway" with all vehicles banned from parking there.

The security gates at the entrance to Port Taranaki have also been removed and the Molesworth St bridge over the Huatoki Stream has been strengthened to take the heavy load.

Mr Brown is confident the operation will run smoothly.

"We'll be hooking up five trucks one after the other at the front, so they'll look like a daisy chain. There'll be another two trucks side-by-side at the rear, pushing.

"We plan for everything to move at about a fast walking pace. That means we should take between three and four minutes to cross the Waiwhakaiho Bridge, during which time direct traffic access over the river will be closed, but for the rest of the time there'll be plenty of alternative routes for traffic to take."

New Plymouth District Council manager of roading assets Max Aves said emergency services are planning to have cover on the eastern side of the Waiwhakaiho for the short time the bridge will be closed.

Taranaki Daily News