Full project details
An innovative transport solution was developed for this project that enabled the reopening of a 900 m stretch of Lawrence Hargrave Drive, which had a long history of rock falls and embankment failure. This significant over-water bridge and road project was the first alliance for the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), and proved to be a multi-award-winning design and construct joint venture.
The solution involved constructing two bridges between Coalcliff and Clifton, just north of Wollongong. The first bridge, approximately 44 m long and 35 m above sea level, was built over the southern amphitheatre, and comprised five spans requiring four piers. A second multiple-span bridge, 210 m long, was built on a continuous curve to bypass the middle headland. The two bridges connect to form a 665 m long bridge, with the route then returning to the pre-existing alignment through the northern amphitheatre.
A concrete casting yard was built to construct the bridge sections. A catch ditch, overflow culvert and diversion banks were constructed to divert rock fall and mud flow from the road. Rock removal, rock bolting and meshing were also undertaken to remove an overhang above the existing road and to stabilise loose rock and weathered seams on the cliff face.
This high-profile, iconic civil earthworks, roadworks and bridgeworks project was completed in just 19 months, within a demanding environment close to a major waterway. Working in an alliance environment enabled the team to foster innovation to solve the unique problems posed by the project.
Safe working conditions were provided through the use of an innovative radar-based invention, the Ground Probe, which monitors rock-face activity and provides early warning of rock movements. The team also minimised any long-term environmental impacts to the surrounding marine littoral communities by constructing the revetment from local rock similar to the natural rock falling into the ocean from the cliffs above.
The new road, including the bridges, features two lanes, 3.5 m wide with a 1 m shoulder, and a separate 2.5 m wide shared pedestrian and cycle path. The collaborative and innovative design and construction of the cantilever bridges saw this iconic project delivered three months ahead of schedule. In addition, the targets of zero lost-time injuries and exceptional environmental performance were achieved.
Particular attention to ensuring the quality of concrete was suitable for the harsh marine environment resulted in breakthrough outcomes. The consistency of strength, permeability and other key quality performance criteria delivered new industry benchmarks of quality performance that far exceeded the client’s initial expectations.
The project received numerous industry accolades in 2006, including a Case Earth Award, the Master Builders Association of Australia’s National Construction Excellence Award (Civil Engineering), an Engineers Australia Construction Excellence (Regional Community) Award and an Alliance Contracting Excellence Award.