Technology, experience to the fore

Technology, experience to the fore
Shear key works underway at Milldale.

Experience gained by working on Millwater and various other projects in the region for more than a decade has stood the Hick Group in good stead on the Milldale project, says company contract manager James Bilkey.
This was particularly important with regards to successfully managing the environmental aspects of the project. The expertise of the Hick Group silt control people combined with the latest technology has enabled the company to closely monitor and manage the silt on the site.
James says educating the team from day one was key. “It was about letting everyone know our expectations with regards to the environmental aspects and putting the right procedures, systems and equipment in place,” he says.
For example the Hick Group team monitors the weather conditions so a proactive rather than reactive approach can be taken and if rain is expected the team can ensure the sediment control ponds are working effectively in advance.
Specially developed technology has played an important part with Hick Group using Auto-Floc on the site – a product developed by Hick Group.
The patented device for applying chemical treatment to sediment laden run-off utilises innovative designs and modern technologies to remove the majority of costs, health and safety and sustainability issues traditionally associated with chemically dosing run-off, says James.
Auto-Floc has solar powered batteries meaning the unit can be installed in remote areas without power constraints. The device can be installed in under two minutes allowing it to be rapidly deploy on sediment control devices.
James says that by removing the need for chemicals to be manually transferred/pumped hazards are greatly diminished making the device safer for workers. SMS alarms are sent to select personal to notify when chemical reservoirs are running low or devices are not performing as they should. Any active alarms are also displayed via the mobile and web application.
This year the device will be rolled out on more Hicks Bros projects as well as be available to lease by other companies, which James says have been keen to utilise the technology on their sites.James says council has been closely monitoring the site with electronic devices as two streams – Waterloo and Weiti – run through the site.
“This has meant that our environmental controls have had to be very thorough and effective. It’s evidence of our high levels of expertise in this area,” he says. Hicks Bros Civil has completed earthworks, civil works and infrastructure works on Milldale subcontracting to Fulton Hogan Land Developments.

Technology, experience to the fore
Silt control: skilled staff combined with the latest technology has enabled the company to closely monitor and manage the silt on the site.

Services have included bulk earthworks, geo-technical improvements such as shear keys and stabilization retaining structures, drainage, services and roading. James says the main challenge of the project has been its sheer size and the materials on the site.
“Lime rock is a dry material and overlying clay is a wetter material. “Conditioning has been required to bring the material to optimum moisture content to make it a great site for building on,” he explains.
Based in Silverdale, Auckland, Hick Group was started in 1986 with the vision of being the leading provider of value-added civil engineering solutions for all facets of major infrastructure projects and land development works in New Zealand.
James says a major driver of the company is to provide these services through safe, sustainable and ethical practices with respect for the environment, employees, clients and communities.
He says Hick Group specialises in combining the latest heavy plant resource with a large professional team to provide value-added engineering solutions for all facets of major infrastructure projects and land development works.
James says the fact that the company directors are still working in a hands on manner in the company is a point of difference delivering a personal approach combined with high levels of professionalism.
“This means that the Hick Group, a family owned business, has the people, expertise and equipment to deliver pretty much any size or type of civil project. ”
The Hick Group works mainly in Auckland and surrounds but goes further afield depending on the project. Past projects include subdivisions Long Bay, Weiti Bay, Millwater, Stonefi elds, Pegasus Bay, Prestons Road, Babich Hills and Hobsonville/Westgate industrial estates.
The company has been involved in major infrastructure projects such as the Taupo Bypass, Te Uku Wind Farm, Te Rapa Bypass, Christchurch rebuild, Auckland Airport, Taupo geothermal projects, Maheno and Kaitaia Dams, SH16 Causeway and NGA Newmarket viaduct. The company is currently working in Raglan on the Rangitahi subdivison and on the Hamilton Bypass project.
It is also involved in Piritahi, an alliance of companies that specialises in getting government-owned land ready to build new homes on as well as designing and constructing new or upgraded infrastructure, parks and public spaces.
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