Full steam ahead for light rail construction
Construction on the Gold Coast’s light rail system is ramping up with works under way for the 800-metre light rail bridge over Smith Street and across the Loders Creek valley.
GoldLinQ Chairman John Witheriff said this city-building project was full steam ahead to connect residents, businesses and tourists to key Gold Coast precincts with an integrated public transport system.
“The first stage of this project is injecting millions into the local economy as well as providing local construction workers with jobs,” Mr Witheriff said.
“We are averaging more than 100 subcontractors on site each day with 100 per cent of blue collar workers from the Gold Coast and surrounding regions and we are consistently hitting our targets of more than 90 per cent for local industry participation.
“The key to the success of this project is locals supporting businesses on the construction corridor and when operating trams will deliver people right to the doors of these businesses.”
GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford said construction works would involve piling, bridge piers for the Smith Street light rail bridge (viaduct), earthworks, underground service relocation and construction of a Depot maintenance facility.
“Works have already started on the viaduct and the construction will take about 16 months from start to finish,” Mr Mumford said.
“These works will connect the light rail corridor to Parklands Drive, Southport via a first-class Depot.”
Mr Mumford said from 2014, the Depot would house operations staff as well as at least 14 light rail vehicles.
“The Depot, located between Smith Street and Queen Street, Southport, will house light rail vehicles having maintenance work done or when they are not in use,” he said.
The Smith Street viaduct will be 800 metres long with 400 metres elevated, up to 13 metres high across the Loders Creek valley and will be supported by 24 bored piles and 144 driven piles.
Piles create a solid foundation to support the bridge by reaching a stronger layer of soil or rock. Bored piling creates less noise and is inserted into a pre-dug hole and set with concrete with driven piling involving hammering of a concrete pile to a determined depth using a piling rig.
Work on the rail bridge comes as the GoldLinQ consortium proves its commitment to safety racking up more than 500,000 hours without any lost time injuries on the Gold Coast light rail project.
Design and Construction Joint Venture Project Director Daryl Young said on any project safety was of the utmost importance.
“Constructing in a highly urban environment means GoldLinQ needs to manage both the safety of our workforce and the public we are working so closely to,” Mr Young said.
“This milestone is a testament that the GoldLinQ consortium is staying true to McConnell Dowell’s commitment to delivering upon our safety campaign and its message – home without harm everyone every day.”
The Queensland Government states since 2010 and at a time of severe downturn in the local construction industry, the Queensland Government funded Early Enabling Works have created 2650 jobs for Gold Coast workers and injected $71.05 million directly into the local economy.
“Through the Design and Construction Phase, the GoldLinQ consortium has continued this legacy by developing a growing workforce of almost 200 direct employees and contributing $26.8 million to date through procurement activities that benefit to the local economy,” Mr Young said.
With construction and site preparation visible along most of the 13-kilometre light rail corridor, GoldLinQ CEO Phil Mumford said safety comes first every single day of the project.
“We are committed to the safety of every person on our work sites across the Gold Coast and surrounding public with a One Team approach to everything we do,” Mr Mumford said.
Milestones for GoldLinQ to date include:
• Geotechnical investigations for the entire route (November 2011)
• Delivery and installation of site office buildings to the GCCC Depot (February 2012)
• Started the first permanent works with Telstra relocations along Parklands Drive and continued site preparatory works along the majority of the alignment (April 2012)
• The GCUH station shell and all Early Enabling Works north areas were handed over to GoldLinQ from the Queensland Government (April 2012)
• Relocated the Osprey bird pole and nest to new location (April 2012)
• Rail arrived in Australia at the Brisbane Port (April 2012)
• Works started in Parklands, Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
- 26 July 2012 15:42