Location

Port of Brisbane, Queensland

Client

Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd

Sector

Transport 

  • Roads

Duration

 2016 – 2018

Contract value

$75 – 100 million 

Port Drive Upgrade

Fast facts

1st

use of the Quickcell Super I girder in Australia

1st

project in Queensland for large scale use of EME2

4.6km

of new highway

103,000m3

earthworks including 27,000 m3 of cut to fill

2 no.

ISCA excellent ratings

108,000m2

of high performance wearing course pavements

About

This award-winning, design and construction project is an example of a highly successful highway and bridge project delivered by Seymour Whyte.

This capacity enhancement and safety improvement project included the construction of 4.6km of new highway and two new bridges. Given the significant soft soils and high-water table across the site, extensive ground improvements were required to mitigate lateral loading on adjacent embankments and utilities.

The bridge construction achievements are a showcase for Seymour Whyte’s technical ability and appetite to provide innovative solutions for outstanding project results.

The scope included an overpass at Kite Street and an over-road-and-rail bridge-duplication at Lucinda Drive, within a marine ecosystem with complex soils. For example, Seymour Whyte identified heightened risks around managing acid sulphate soils and acidic water from a bored pile solution.

Moving away from the concept design, the team proposed an alternative driven pile methodology that significantly reduced risks for the construction of both bridges. At Kite Street, the twin-6 span deck unit overpass bridge was built over a live traffic roundabout – while maintaining a 60km/hr speed limit throughout construction.

The design and construction of the Lucinda Drive bridge duplication was especially challenging. Here, the original design required a 5-span bridge to be built, however, this was complicated by the unknown location of large public utility assets under/between the 4 railway lines (sets of tracks) within the QR corridor.

A key innovation on the 110m long Lucinda Drive bridge duplication was the use of Quickcell Super-I girder — a new type of bridge girder in Queensland that can reach span longer than the traditional Super-T girders currently preferred by road authorities across Australia. The girders used on the Lucinda Drive Bridge are 46m long pre-cast pre-stressed simply supported single length bridge girders, recognised as an Australian first innovation.

Together with Arup, Quickcell and DTMR, the 46m Super-I girder was developed to span the rail corridor to overcome one of the major project risks: construction around underground utilities and the main power line supply to the entire port, all located within the existing Queensland Rail corridor crossing the bridge alignment.

This innovation:

  • helped improve capacity and reliability of the road into the port
  • provided significant future opportunities for rail use without any physical constraints within the rail corridor
  • eliminated the need to work in the rail corridor therefore minimising potential disruption of services
  • minimised the risk of locating, working around and/or relocating public utility services
  • provides sufficient clearance for double stacked container rail freight, if required.

By using the longest span precast concrete girder enabled a quick construction period, resulting in minimal impact to the port’s 24/7 operations. Compared to a conventional Super-T girder, the number of deck units required were reduced from 100 units, to only 17 units using the Super-I girder.

Subsequently, occupations of the road and rail corridor were significantly reduced, minimising disruption for stakeholders, while also ensuring safer construction for both traffic and workers.

“This was the largest road project ever undertaken by PBPL. Seymour Whyte worked constructively with PBPL and key project stakeholders to deliver the project with minimal disruption to the Port’s 24/7 operations and maintaining access to community facilities.”

Rob Nave, General Manager Infrastructure, Port of Brisbane Pty Limited, Mar 2019

Project gallery

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