Transpower is warning holidaymakers travelling the remote Danseys Pass Road this summer – to expect delays and heavy construction works as wiring crews start the final section of the $100m National Grid upgrade on the Clutha Upper Waitaki Lines Project (CUWLP) next month (January 2022).
Transpower owns and operates the National Grid – critical infrastructure which secures New Zealand’s energy supply. Transmission line specialist crews shift to the Naseby to Livingstone section of the Roxburgh to Islington A 220 kV transmission line in January, with works expected to be completed by winter. Crews are replacing the existing single electrical wire per phase on the transmission line with two wires (known as duplexing) to increase the northward transmission capacity for New Zealand from around 600 MW at present to about 1,000 MW.
Clutha Upper Waitaki Lines Project director Roy Noble says Transpower has been working with Waitaki District Council and Central Otago District Councils who are the authorities for the Danseys Pass Road. The road will remain open during the works but will be subject to constraints. Work will be undertaken between mid-January and early April.
The community will see heavy construction, equipment, helicopters, crews and their vehicles, traffic management, and signage, he says.
“We encourage the community to be prepared for delays during their journey through Danseys Pass Road and allow extra time to travel through this area.
Wiring Project Manager Neville Cole says the team are working hard to minimise the impact of the project to the public.
Some parts of the transmission line corridor are publicly accessible, with pylons either on roadside or adjacent to Danseys Pass Road.
“To ensure the health and safety of the general public and crews, movements on the Danseys Pass Road will be carefully managed.
“We expect brief delays but cannot rule out longer delays of up to 1-2 hours, depending on the requirements of the heavy construction works each day.
“Many thanks to the local community in advance for their patience and co-operation while this important project is underway”, he says.
Two crews totalling more than 100 people will be working along the Danseys Pass Road – one from the north entry point and based in Oamaru, while the other crew will be based near the south entry point, in Naseby and the wider Maniototo area. Crews will work a ten day on, four day off roster with alternative weekends off.
The community is asked to please be aware of the heavy construction works overhead on the transmission line, follow any instructions of the work crews and respect the closed areas.
The Clutha Upper Waitaki Lines Project is a significant part of Transpower’s support to shift New Zealand to electrification and a low carbon economy by 2030.