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Blythe River Rail Bridge Replacement

ClientTasRail
Value$3.8M
StateTasmania
CompletedFebruary 2013

The Blythe River Rail Bridge Replacement is being undertaken on the Western Line as part of the $20M ‘Four North West Bridges’ rehabilitation and replacement projects contracted out by Tasmanian Railway (TasRail). The project is located 500 m south of the mouth of the Blythe River where it discharges into Bass Strait in north west Tasmania. The bridge is in an exposed location and is subject to salt laden sea breezes.

The Project

The original bridge was constructed in 1968 and was a 105m long and consisted of a transomed 7 span structure with twin steel girders supported on reinforced concrete piers and abutments.

Any analysis of options lead to recommending the complete realignment of the existing structure on a new southern alignment, between the existing structure and the northern Bass Highway bridge. The benefits of this option included improved alignment, increased load capacity, reduction in structure length by approximately 30m by widening the road embankment, certainty of outcome compared to rehabilitation and lowest lifecycle costs.

A key success factor for the Blythe River Rail Bridge was the implementation and utilisation of the VEC Planning System which is a hybrid Project Management Methodology incorporating the Project Management Methodology incorporating the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the Lean Construction Institutes last Planner System (LPS).

VEC’s modular falsework system allowed for an expedited construction with flexibilities in design accounting for site conditions. Steel work from the falsework system could potentially be used for all rail bridge projects with minor modifications.

Precast ballast retainers allowed the ballast retainers to become part of the deck formwork for pouring of the deck. This reduced the overall construction period.

VEC’s demolition methodology allowed the safest most efficient demolition of the redundant structure.

The superstructure was strengthened and jacked up, heavy duty rollers were welded onto the redundant abutments and piers and the entire superstructure was progressively delaunched directly into a loading bay where the beams were carted away for lead paint decontamination.

Head Office

10b Industrial Dr, Ulverstone,
TAS 7315

PO Box 812
Ulverstone, TAS 7315
info@vec.com.au

Phone +61 3 6425 6530
Fax +61 3 6425 6112

Hobart Office

Level 3, 116 Bathurst Street
Hobart, TAS 7000

PO Box 812
Ulverstone, TAS 7315
info@vec.com.au

Phone +61 3 6425 6530
Fax +61 3 6425 6112

Melbourne Office

Level 10, 567 Collins Street, 
Melbourne, VIC 3000

PO Box 812 
Ulverstone, TAS 7315
info@vec.com.au

Phone +61 (03) 9278 5100
Fax +61 3 6425 6112

Queensland Office

135 Coronation Drive
Milton, QLD 4064

PO Box 812 
Ulverstone, TAS 7315
info@vec.com.au

Phone +61 3 6425 6530
Fax +61 3 6425 6112