Exit 54 Pacific Motorway - Abraham Road
Overview of Project
The Department of Transport and Main Roads identified that due to an increasing population of the Coomera area, the Motorway interchange at Exit 54 northbound had significant safety concerns for the public. These included long traffic delays for motorists and traffic queues that extended onto the motorway off-ramp during peak periods. The need for improvement became of high importance for the region.
A new link road was designed between the current Exit 54 Motorway northbound off-ramp and Abraham Rd, along with upgrades to the Abraham Rd intersection. The upgrades would resolve flooding issues of Abraham Rd, and a new slip lane between Abraham Rd and Days Rd would service local schools. Upgrading the public facilities were also identified, with a new bus stop and footpaths to be constructed as part of the improvement works.
Neumann Contractors Pty Ltd became involved in the project after the original principal contractor entered financial administration and liquidation. Taking over the project in December 2009 for DTMR, the works quickly came back on track for the client, with progress meeting the original deadlines.
Scope of Works
The scope of work included:
- Clearing and grubbing of 22,000m2 of grassland,
- Translocation of frog habitat wetland,
- Demolition of existing drainage structures,
- Removal and disposal of 5,000m3 of unsuitable material,
- Importation and placement of 12,000m3 of embankment material,
- Construction of major drainage culverts and end structures,
- Importation of 4,500m3 of pavement gravels,
- Dense graded asphalt pavements, including deep lift and wearing courses,
- Installation of guidance and information systems,
- Installation of road lighting and traffic signal infrastructure,
- Perimeter fencing,
- Landscaping of verges, batters and wetland areas.
- The relocation of frog habitat was a task that was previously unfamiliar to the on-site staff. Through consultation with environmental experts, a process of slabbing the habitat and relocating.
- The amount of unsuitable material that needed to be removed and replaced proved time-consuming to the program. The additional plant was allocated to the task to prevent the works from delaying the completion date.
- The construction of major drainage structures proved challenging through the wetter part of the year; however, the team overcame the issue of controlling stormwater by implementing diversion drains and a series of control pumps.
- The upgrade works on Abraham Rd needed to be phased so that live traffic would not be impacted, particularly given that the area contained a high number of schools and workplaces. The team carefully thought out traffic Guidance Schemes to ensure that the construction works would not impact the public while maintaining a workable area for the contractor.
- The take over from a previous Principal Contractor introduced additional challenges; however, these were all easily resolved with the client on time.
Different methods of overcoming wet and unsuitable areas were suggested by Neumann Contractors, with these options being implemented by DTMR. These included the use of geofabrics, geotextiles, and bridging rock in particularly bad areas.
The improvements to traffic flows could be immediately seen once the new roads were opened, proving that the upgrade works were in desperate need for the local community.