Back in 2011, when the Hobsonville motorway opened — part of a $220 million roading project — its bright orange noise protection walls caused a bit of a stir. People thought the stark orange was an undercoat for a more acceptable colour. Some locals even took to social media to voice their objections to the colour scheme — described as “an absolute eyesore”, “hideous” and “cheap”.
Part of the north western motorway passes through residential areas so sound walls were erected to absorb noise and for a time the orange walls met their objective, having been chosen by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTAS) and approved by the previous Waitakere City Council.
At the time the walls were the country’s largest public artwork, artist Jeff Thomson having created tyre trails and tread pattern graphics on the walls for added aesthetics. Turns out the orange walls did not go the distance.
The plywood swiftly deteriorated, mould took hold and the blistering paint fell off the wall panels in chunks. When the NZTA monitored the noise wall in 2019, two needed to be removed and the remaining five needed re-cladding.
ColorCote AlumiGard was chosen for the re-cladding of five wall panels — chosen for its longevity and resistance to corrosion. The baked-on paint system is the same marine grade alloy that boats are made from so it won’t rust.
Work began in June 2020, with one of ColorCote’s key customers, Roofing Industries supplying their Eurostyle SpanLok profile, and Swift Roofing chosen to install the new cladding. Over 15,000 lineal metres of product was required on the project with a re-cladding budget of $2.1 million. The project was completed last October.
The revised colour scheme is intended to simulate driving through a forest and to blend with other noise walls along the north western corridor. Local mana whenua, Te Kawerau a Maki, endorsed the new colour scheme and blessed the land and construction workers as the re-cladding project got under way.
Steve Haines, New Zealand Sales and Marketing Manager for ColorCote was a fan of the bright orange walls back in 2011 but they have deteriorated quickly and the re-clad exercise is a definite improvement.
AlumiGard panels in Roofing Industries Eurostyle SpanLok profile have been installed over the top of the existing old walls meaning sound reduction should be at least as good if not better than the original orange ones.