Inspire : Public Works July Aug 2013
23 FREEWAY FASHION A rethink in road design is being driven by a desire to blend aesthetic elements into the utilitarian models of traditional construction. Three recent projects bear out the trend. BY BRIAN MCCORMACK As motorists demand more from their motorways, signature design is playing an increasing role in an e ort by federal and state governments to improve the driving 'experience'. Revived determination to transform the circuitous Paci c Highway into something more palatable with series of sleek bypasses is evidence of the trend. So is Brisbane's Trans Apex project, which aims to divert cross-city tra c from the CBD, most notably with elegant underground solutions such as the Legacy Way Tunnel currently under construction. But perhaps nowhere is the aesthetic blended better with the utilitarian than in Melbourne, where a tradition of distinctive and amboyant design o en gives motorists a sense of traversing large-scale sculptural objects. The latest adjunct to Melbourne's iconographic road network is the $760 million Peninsula Link Project, which opened in January and now whisks motorists down the Mornington Peninsula from Carrum Downs to Mount Martha in less than 20 minutes. To turn that 20-minute trip into more than just a commute, main contractors Abigroup harnessed the talents of ARM Architecture to dress the corridor in a livery to suit ve distinct sections of landscape along the 27km route. With the dramatic use of bright colours and harmonising materials, scale, form and texture, ARM gave strong aesthetic quality to what might have remained mundane. Their design included bridge undersides in green and yellow, zig-zag overpass parapets, patterned tiles on bridge abutments, sculpted sound THE NEW AESTHETIC: SIGNATURE ROADS walls in amboyant colour and a lighting design that uses a patterned LED display. As the largest project ever undertaken in Victoria by Abigroup, the Peninsula Way was completed in just under three years -- during which time three million cubic metres of earth was moved, 45 bridge structures built and 407,800 tonnes of asphalt laid. The road was delivered under the Availability PPP model, which has been more commonly used to deliver social infrastructure in Australia. Under the model, the private sector is responsible for constructing, nancing, operating and maintaining the road, in return for payments from the government over an agreed term. PACIFIC HIGHWAY RENAISSANCE In another sign of avant-garde road design, the Paci c Highway's renaissance took a further leap towards fruition in March, with the debut of the sleek new Kempsey Bypass in northern NSW that will reduce the time and angst of driving between Sydney and Brisbane. The $618-million project boasts Australia's longest bridge and was opened 15 months ahead of schedule. Commenced in July 2010, the bypass was constructed by an alliance between the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), Leighton Contractors, AECOM and Co ey. In a separate contract, Abigroup designed and built the 3.2km bridge that crosses the Macleay River and oodplain to form an essential component of the project. While the project was funded through the federal government's Building Australia Fund, the NSW Government has provided joint funding for the planning and project approval phase of the 40km Kempsey to Eungai upgrade project, of which the Kempsey Bypass is a rst stage. Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the project, which allows motorists to bypass Kempsey and Fredickton, was a major step forward in the Peninsula Link -- Melbourne icon. Nowhere is the aesthetic blended better with the utilitarian than in Melbourne.
Public Works May Jun 2013
Public Works Professional Sept - Oct 2013