Mar 13, 2018

Bridges take shape in ‘top-down’ build

Bridges take shape in ‘top-down’ build

Construction of the New England Highway arch bridges at Mount Kynoch is nearing completion in the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) project.

Nexus Infrastructure TSRC project director Jose Antonio Sanchez said the dual-lane bridges would not only be visually spectacular, but a major engineering accomplishment.

“Standing alongside the viaduct, another huge engineering feat of the TSRC project, these bridges are an example of how regional infrastructure projects are driving innovation in Australia,” Mr Sanchez said.

“The New England Highway arch bridges are built using a ‘top-down’ approach, which requires the structures to be completed before excavating the ground beneath them.

“About 15m of earth is excavated from either side of the highway and shaped to form a mould for the bridge formwork.

“The cutting under the New England Highway is a key component in connecting the 800m viaduct across the Toowoomba Range escarpment to the Toowoomba interchange.”

Mr Sanchez said the process was relatively unusual but would mean traffic could continue to flow while work continued below the current road level.

“The New England Highway through Mount Kynoch is a busy stretch of road, with more than 20,000 cars expected to pass over these bridges every day, so it was essential that methods were developed to ensure disruptions were kept to a minimum for commuters,” Mr Sanchez said.

Once completed, the arch bridges will extend for 70m and stand 30m above the bypass below.

The TSRC is being built under a Public-Private Partnership with the Australian and Queensland governments. It represents the largest Australian Government funding commitment to a single road project in Queensland’s history.

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