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Opus International

Opus International Consultants Ltd

The NZ$30 million Cavendish Link Arterial Road Widening & Realignment Contract consisted of 3kms of 4 lane highway overlaying an existing busy route between Great South Road and Roscommon Road with construction of a new underpass below the main north/south railway line.

To hide the unsightly bored & cast insitu concrete pile retaining walls within the underpass area it was originally designed to have embossed precast panels. The disadvantage of this was that it was felt that the sharp edges would allow build up of dirt on the ledges and would be difficult to clean graffiti out of the corners effectively.

The actual construction detail was for plain graffiti-guarded precast concrete panels. It was then proposed to have the Manukau Beautification Trust paint a mural on the bare concrete surface.

When these panels were subcontracted to Messrs Nauhria Precast Limited for manufacture, we were invited to their modern factory to view what they could achieve with their computer controlled surface polishers and detailers.

The benefits of polishing the surface were:

  • To provide a decorative finish of smooth exposed aggregate rather than the boring plain cement grey.
  • That graffiti does not mechanically bond to the smooth polished surface as it would to porous plain concrete.
  • When finished with graffiti guard it has a very smooth low permeability easily cleaned shiny surface.
  • That graffiti does not show up as vividly on the “speckled” surface as on a plain concrete one.
  • Should the panel sustain a vehicle impact, the scar would not be as visible and would not show up to the same extent as exposed aggregate on either a cement or a mural painted background.

Based on these benefits I was very pleased to recommend to the Client, Manukau City Council, that the use of Monarc Panels would provide the right impression to visitors and residents alike passing through the “Gateway to Manukau”

Paul Willey
Engineer’s Representative/Contract Manager
Opus International Consultants Ltd