One of the greatest challenges to any modern city is providing timely, effective and viable infrastructure for its inhabitants. According to Infrastructure Australia, New South Wales has more ‘high priority initiatives’ than all other states combined, and the state government has a vision to make Sydney a strong global city – in both the CBD and surrounding areas.
One of the infrastructure projects that is currently underway is an upgrade and extension of Schofields Road in the city’s North-West. Stage 3 features dual bridges that will act as necessary pieces of infrastructure to support the city’s burgeoning northwestern community, improving connectivity for residents and businesses alike.
When the Schofields Road upgrade and extension in New South Wales is complete, it will form a tree-lined transit boulevard linking the Rouse Hill and Marsden Park town centres. Aiming to help meet the future transport needs of the North-West Priority Land Release Area, the project is set to connect pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and vehicles with the surrounding urban land use.
National Precast member Hanson Precast is supplying precast concrete elements that are integral to Stage 3 of the project. Stage 3, the final phase of the upgrade and extension, is a redevelopment of the 2.5-kilometre extension of Schofields Road between Veron Road and Richmond Road. Expected to be completed by mid-2018, it includes extending Schofields Road from Veron Road, across Eastern Creek, to Carnarvon Road and widening the South Street alignment.
The Schofields Road upgrade involves the construction of twin bridges over Eastern Creek (422 metres long) and Bells Creek (175 metres long).
Hanson Precast’s Estimating Manager Richard Lorenzin says the project’s flood-prone area meant that precast concrete was the exemplary option.
“The existing single-lane road was in a floodplain that needed to be elevated to create a four-lane flood-free access across Eastern Creek and Bells Creek,” he explains.
Approximately 1071 prefabricated concrete bridge planks and 560 bridge parapets were manufactured for the project. The bridge planks are 17.5 metres and 7.95 metres long, and form a critical approach to the twin bridges.
Despite the precast elements only needing to be transported from Riverstone – a local suburb not far from the site – the delivery of such a large volume of units posed a potential challenge.
Hanson Precast’s Logistic Manager, Will Dean, says the coordination of deliveries was a critical challenge, with 25 extendable semi-trailer delivery vehicles usually required for each normal delivery day.
“On a couple of the delivery days the site required 34 loads in eight hours, which demanded that the whole exercise of loading, driving to site, unloading and returning to the factory for reloading run like clockwork – and it ultimately did.”
With the precast planks weighing between 15 and 18 tonnes, the units were transported on an extendable trailer, one at a time.
Equipped for high-volume projects
The timely design, installation and commissioning of the upgrade was critical to the project’s success and ultimately satisfied all of Roads and Maritime Services’ requirements.
Hanson Precast has recently upgraded its prestressing casting facility, which Mr. Lorenzin says perfectly positions the company to supply to such high-volume projects.
“The doubling of manufacturing capacity has now given Hanson Precast the capability to provide similar projects in the future.”