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WA road project takes national infrastructure prize

Monday, 25 November, 2013

Western Australia’s Great Eastern Highway Upgrade has beaten a strong field of major transport projects in other states to claim the Category 5 (for projects worth more than $75 million) Civil Contractors Federation National Earth Award at a presentation at thw National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
The Great Eastern Highway Upgrade was delivered by the City East Alliance, comprising Main Roads WA, Leighton Contractors, GHD and NRW.The other contenders in Category 5 were the Pacific Highway Kempsey Bypass (New South Wales), the Midland Highway Brighton Bypass (Tasmania), the Peninsula Link Freeway (Victoria), the Pacific Motorway Upgrade Section B (Queensland) and the Seaford rail extension (South Australia).

CCF WA Chief Executive Officer Jeff Miller said Category 5 was always going to be difficult to win with such high-profile competition from other states.

“Our WA judges described the Upgrade as a ‘truly remarkable’ project and the National judges clearly agreed,” Mr Miller said. 

“Winning is a great achievement and the City East Alliance is to be congratulated for the excellence of their work on the Upgrade.”

The CCF Earth Awards are Australia’s longest-running and most prestigious awards for infrastructure project excellence. 2013 marks the twentieth presentation of the Awards.

There are five categories, based on project value – Category 1 (up to $1 million), Category 2 ($1-5 million), Category 3 ($5-20 million), Category 4 ($20-75 million) and Category 5 (more than $75million). Earth Awards are presented by CCF branches in each State and Territory, with Category winners at a State/Territory level becoming National Finalists.

About the winning project The Great Eastern Highway Upgrade – Kooyong Road to Tonkin Highway involved widening and improving a 4.2 kilometre section of the major arterial that runs from Perth Airport to the city. Carrying 52,000 vehicles a day, the road was operating beyond capacity with a crash rate almost twice the State average. The upgrade needed to be carried out as quickly as possible, with minimal disruption to the travelling public.

The Alliance called for innovative ideas from its members, and more than 100 were put forward – many making a real difference. For the first time in Western Australia, Recycled Asphalt Pavement was used. The sustainable approach continued with a trial of Warm Mix Asphalt that reduced energy consumption.

A significant component of the project was the relocation of existing and installation of new utilities including telecommunications, drainage, water, electricity and gas. This represented one of the greatest service relocation and replacement challenges on a WA infrastructure project, with more than 80,000m of new conduit required within a constrained 21 hectare road corridor.

Construction work fell partly within the Swan River Aboriginal Heritage Site, which protects not only the river itself, but also the land immediately surrounding. The Aboriginal community was consulted before and during construction.

Project construction commenced late June 2011 and was completed in April 2013, Lost Time Injury (LTI) free, more than six months ahead of schedule.

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