Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery

Brian Kirtlan

On 14 November 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit in Kaikōura, New Zealand. The epic jolt resulted from the country’s strongest ground acceleration on record. Nearly one million cubic metres of rock and debris fell onto roads and the rail line. The earthquake left Kaikōura and neighbouring communities completely cut off. New Zealand-wide, road and rail movements were heavily impacted.

The NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail (NCTIR) quickly formed a unique partnership to respond to this emergency. After a herculean effort, the rail line was open to freight trains just ten months after tracks had been thrown into the sea, with the harbour back in operation exactly a year after the earthquake. SH1 was open to motorists again after just one year, one month, and one day. This project was the recipient of the ICE’s 2018 Global People’s Choice Award for Engineering Excellence.

Come along to hear from Brian Kirtlan, NCTIR’s Project Director, on how 1,700 people worked more than two million hours to move mountains and rebuild the road and railway. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

About the speaker

Brian Kirtlan Project Director, NCTIR

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