Civil/ Structural Engineer, Jone Sumasafu
Wellington has a rapidly growing population and welcomes an additional 20,000+ commuters into the city for work daily. The speed at which we are expanding means that decisions need to be made about the future of Wellington transport, and fast.
Coming from a civil engineering background, Jone was excited to be a part of these long term projects when he joined the Council back in 2014.
“I was enthusiastic about Council’s long term plans which also included the resilience of the transport network and the thought of enabling people to travel safely to and from places on a resilient roading network. Also, the involvement from start to finish on projects and then seeing the end product is very satisfying.”
A lot of the work Jone does is behind the scenes, but it has a huge impact on how drivers navigate the city. He specialises in “roading assets” which are supporting structures that help to keep roads clear and safe. This includes “retaining walls, seawalls, bridges and tunnels”.
Jone also assesses unsupported slopes around the roading network to prevent slippages and landslides. In an earthquake prone city like Wellington, Jone and the team work hard to make sure our roads are resilient to natural disasters.
Two projects that Jone particularly enjoyed working on was the construction and rebuild of seawalls on Breaker Bay Road and The Esplanade in Island Bay.
“Both these projects had significant challenges” he says. They had to comply with current Building Codes, allow for future sea level rises and benefit the local communities.
But Jone is not one to shy away from a challenge. Thanks to his creativity and innovation – both skills he says are vital in civil engineering – residents of Breaker Bay Road no longer fear for their homes in a storm and Island Bay is less vulnerable to climate change.
Engaging with communities and stakeholders is one of the best things Jone enjoys about working for a multi-disciplined organisation like Wellington City Council.
“It gives you a different perspective of people’s (ratepayers) concerns but, you get to assist in some way or the other.”
And that assistance does not go unnoticed.
“We get frequent emails from people appreciating the engineering work that Council has done to improve the roading network”.
For more information about the council's Civil/ Structural engineering work see Building Earthquake resilience.