Civil Contractors/Hirepool Construction Excellence Awards 2017: Category Five’s Winner


Category Five: Excellence in the management of assets including routine maintenance

Winner: Downer NZ- Maintenance of Dunedin area traffic signals network


The client is the Dunedin City Council and the NZTA and the contract, handled by Downer NZ, is for the essential maintenance and upgrade of the greater Dunedin area traffic signals network – including proactive and reactive maintenance, and installation.

Since 2013, Downer has provided traffic signals operations and maintenance services for Dunedin City, Mosgiel, Oamaru and NZTA’s State Highway network in the Otago area. The contract serves an urban population of over 150,000.

The network contains 89 signalised intersections, with over 700 structures and greater than 1600 lamps, 24/7 operation is a must-have criterion for operations with an attendance time of 30 minutes required.

The team is made up of two electricians, two apprentice electricians, an IT technician and contract manager, all working part time on the network, attending to other duties when not engaged fully on this contract.

Four years ago this team inherited this long running contract with many of the assets having been in place for over 20 years with limited information about the infrastructure being recorded.

Traffic signals are a critical road safety feature of any city. The Downer team undertook a review of 89 intersections and established an electronic asset database that contains all known information about that intersection. Previously a manual system was operated and the data available was limited.

Maintenance records were not consistently updated necessitating a step change in system knowledge to improve performance.

Downer instigated a bespoke sharepoint extranet site to build up a comprehensive asset management system to record all information about each location. This is regularly updated whenever work takes place at the location and allows the client and the team to quickly understand how the signals operate at the specific intersection and importantly what other services are present.

The Downer team also represents both Dunedin City Council and NZTA when working on the city’s traffic signal infrastructure, and recognises this high degree of autonomous trust and responds to this by keeping its clients informed of activities performed and planned.

On a formal level, a Traffic Signals Working Group has been set up containing representatives from the client, Dunedin City Council, NZTA, the Police and Downer, the contractor.

This group discusses all aspects of road safety, planned work and work completed and seeks to keep key organisations better informed on proactive works to improve the safety of the public.


Author: ContrafedPublishing

Account manager at Contrafed Publishing - look after advertising and digital media/marketing for the company's suite of magazines.

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