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Fairy tale ending for Fairy Springs track repair

Fairy springs collage final

Wet feet are a thing of the past on the stunning Lake Kaitawa Fairy Springs track now that Quality Roading and Services (QRS) have rebuilt a portion of the walkway.

QRS carried out repairs on a submerged portion of the track in August 2019 on behalf of Genesis Energy which has a power station at nearby Lake Kaitawa.

The submerged section of walkway was near the Lake Kaitawa loop track. Once on the loop track visitors can visit Fairy Springs by turning onto another pathway. It meanders under majestic rimu trees and allows visitors to get alongside the translucent green water of the springs.

Recently, nearby stream water had started to spill onto the Fairy Springs track making it difficult to use.

Construction manager Mike Wilson says QRS and Genesis Energy created an environmentally friendly design for the 20-metre long repair including a vegetated wall system which gets stronger and greener as time goes on.

The first step of the repair work was to damn the water. Mr Wilson says there were very few complaints as QRS staff pulled on waders and stepped in. They built a damn wall out of Flex MSE which is a recycled non-toxic product used in areas where water meets land.

The Flex MSE bags are filled with compost and so over time vegetation grows over and around them ensuring they all but disappear from view.

With the walls in place the track was constructed using layers of metal and eco-friendly ground stabilisation matting.

Everything needed for the job had to be carried or wheelbarrowed 70 metres down the track to the worksite. During the week-long project QRS staff conveyed hundreds of loads of Flex MSE, and sacks of metal and matting, as well as the required tools and other equipment.

It was physical laborious work, says Mr Wilson. “It was very cold and muddy but they gutsed it out. It actually turned out to be one of the most satisfying and unique jobs the staff had ever worked on.”

Genesis Energy Site Manager Ross Macdonald says Mike Wilson and Genesis Energy senior civil engineer Jeremy Robertson came up with the track design “that ticked a lot of boxes for us”.

“QRS construction site supervisor Arnold Smith and his team worked in some pretty awful weather conditions, but the end result was great.”

“This outcome gives us comfort that re-establishing our relationship with QRS was the right decision and looks good for the future.”

QRS staff pictured above who carried out the track repair were Sami Banuve, Mike Wilson, Arnold Smith, Dason Haapu, Justin Kaimoana, and Jade Beattie. Genesis Energy staff member Scott Barkley is pictured at the submerged track site before work began.

24 September 2019

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