Takitimu North Link wins international award

An artist's impression of the Takitimu Northern Link.

The Takitimu North Link project has been recognised as world-class for a model-based digital approach to its design and construction that aims to reduce carbon emissions and improve construction efficiency.

The project won the significant global award in London in November, taking out the Roads and Highways category at the Bentley Systems 2022 Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure.

'This is outstanding recognition for the Takitimu North link team. We're extremely proud of the builder's lead designers, Beca for implementing an integrated, model-based digital approach that continues to support the work being delivered by Fulton Hogan and HEB Joint Venture and the design subconsultant Holmes,” says Jo Wilton, Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

The model-based approach that won the team the award is known as a digital twin, or iTwin.

'The use of a digital twin as the Takitimu North Link project model provides better outcomes for the community, the environment and the budget.”

A digital twin (iTwin) is a 3D visualisation tool that designers, builders, and Waka Kotahi can use to understand the evolving plan.

It means all the different disciplines involved in building a road, such as designers, geotechnical, structural, and environmental engineers can share their designs and information in one place.

And while the digital twin is virtual, it's benefits are real life.

The use of the iTwin to design the Takitimu North Link has reduced carbon emissions for the construction of the project by at least 10 per cent.

For example, the iTwin has helped enable earth cuts to be used as fill or deposited onsite.

No imported fill is required, and no material is carted offsite.

The local road network has been freed of 22,000 truck movements, 900,000km of journeys, which equates to a 560-tonne reduction in carbon emissions.

A focal point in designing and delivering the Takitimu North Link has been around sustainability as part of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

Once completed the New Zealand Upgrade Programme project will better travel options and improved safety in the Western Bay of Plenty, supporting economic development and population growth.

As well as better environmental outcomes, the use of a digital twin has enabled a host of benefits throughout the design stage and the benefits will continue through the construction phase.

  • The twin was used to determine the most cost effective, environmentally, and socially beneficial design option before spades went in the ground.
  • Designing the eight bridges with this method resulted in significant efficiencies compared to previous manual methods, as the design was linked to the road alignment and quick real time updates were possible.
  • With an integrated road model with road furniture, utilities and now the drainage network linked to the road model, design productivity became 25% more efficient.

'Using digital solutions like this is a key focus for Waka Kotahi to help improve construction efficiency and sustainability.”

The true value of this approach will be revealed as construction continues, with a reduction of rework.

The annual Bentley Systems 2022 Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure celebrates the work of Bentley software users who are progressing infrastructure design, construction, and operations throughout the world.

Find out more about the project here: nzta.govt.nz/takitimunorth

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Posted on 01-12-2022 11:51 | By Kancho

So the theory but let's see how the practice works out as bayfair continues for years. If Tauriko was designed by these guys I'm unpressed as it jambs up badly . The toll road come to a grinding stop as does SH 29A. Perhaps even Greerton village too very safe as vehicles back up and jogging speed. Forty minutes from 15 th Avenue to Barkes corner. I have heard of worse .

No tolls!

Posted on 01-12-2022 13:32 | By TheCameltoeKid

If they toll this road it'll be a travesty. NZTA have said that they're looking at tolling it and converting a lane each way for busses only. So now they want Tauranga to have three toll roads. If that's the case then why wasn't Transmission Gully tolled? It's probably that most NZTA employees live in Wellington.

Completion Awards more like it.

Posted on 01-12-2022 16:21 | By zoom3

Awards for a Project that's years away from completion!!! There's far to much local roading incompetence for me to be a believer. Next, we'll have Olympic Gold medals handed out to those that have the theory how to win but not the ability.

Toll Roads

Posted on 02-12-2022 08:09 | By CliftonGuy

I refuse to use the local toll roads, both in principle and in practice. The process of paying the toll is far too cumbersome and only penalises the driver who forgets to log on to pay. I might reconsider if one could buy a tag which is loaded with money and automatically deducted as you pass the toll gantry. But that is far too logical for our beaurocrats.

An award for something so old?

Posted on 03-12-2022 13:45 | By Jules L

So Beca gets an award for updating itself to do what every other company has been doing for over 20 years? What's being done here is far from revolutionary, it's just bog standard.

@ Cliftonguy

Posted on 04-12-2022 20:53 | By Kancho

Well I never think of toll paying as we have set up an account that automatically tops up and we can go on any toll road in New Zealand. Very handy locally and north of Auckland etc. So perhaps something to consider. Google the NZ Transport Toll account and read about setting it up . Easy I set it to automatically top up when account gets down.

Self promotion

Posted on 05-12-2022 08:55 | By an_alias

Lets all pat ourselves on the back while we tax through tolls the crap out of everyone. Goal of only the rich driving achieved while China and India carry on with zero changes.


Posted on 15-12-2022 09:11 | By fair game

This easy to pay process is already set up. Create and account and top it up - can use on any toll road in NZ. You get a monthly update on your credit. We top ours up yearly and never have to worry about it. Seriously easy.

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