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13 March 2018
| News

Innovation and ingenuity at the heart of New England Highway transformation

Toowoomba-Second-Range-Crossing-NEH

Construction of the New England Highway arch bridges at Mount Kynoch is progressing well and nearing completion.

Nexus Infrastructure Chief Executive Officer, John Hagan said the New England Highway arch bridges were a major construction feat for the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) project.

“These engineering achievements are truly remarkable, and even more so when you consider the significance of this project at both the regional and national level,” Mr Hagan said.

“With national freight numbers predicted to double by 2030 and triple by 2050, Australia needs a network that can support growth.

“The TSRC will be a reliable and efficient link in this network while increasing regional productivity and competitiveness.

“Infrastructure connects regional areas to the global economy. Smaller regional farms and processors are now able to move their freight to markets across Australia and overseas like never before.

“Projects like the TSRC are vital to regional Australia, bringing an estimated $2.4 billion in productivity gain for business and industry over the next 30 years.”

TSRC Project Director, Jose Antonio Sanchez said the New England Highway 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.

When finished, it will connect the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east to the Gore Highway at Athol in the west via Charlton.

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