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Australian Engineers Move a 3,000 Tonne Bridge

Laing O'Rourke | 3:53

Australian Engineers Move a 3,000 Tonne Bridge

Peter Smisek

25 May 2018

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ENGINEERS in Australia have recently moved a 3,000 tonne bridge into place as part of the Darlington Update Project near Adelaide.

Aimed at improving connections between two existing motorways, the project consists of a grade separated junction and involves constructing and rebuilding a number of intersections and overpasses.

As part of a major traffic corridor, disruptions during the USD $465 million project have to be kept to a minimum.

Above: The Project includes construction of two new overpasses that facilitate a grade-separated junction (image courtesy of Laing O'Rourke).

Part of this upgrade includes two new overpasses, the first of which was completed and installed in late 2017.

Before the move, contractor Laing O’Rourke created a digital model of the site and the new bridge in order to assess the challenges that could arise during the move and while the positioning the structure.

Above: Prior to the move, the components of the bridge were modelled in a 3D environment (image courtesy of Laing O'Rourke). 

The 180 metre (590 foot) long bridge was constructed just off-site, ensuring quality while improving safety for both motorists and construction workers.

Above: The bridge was manufactured off-site, ensuring higher quality and safety (image courtesy of Laing O'Rourke).

The move was the largest of its kind ever attempted in Australia, equipment and operators for were brought over from Europe by sub-contractor Sarens.

Above: The move was the largest ever attempted in Australia, and owes its success to the contractor's thorough preparation (image courtesy of Laing O'Rourke).

In the end, the extensive preparations paid off - it took just 22 hours for the remote controlled, self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs), to manoeuvre the bridge into position and the roads opened to traffic a day ahead of schedule.

A second bridge is currently under construction and due be installed later this year, with the whole project scheduled for completion in 2019.

Above: The second bridge will be installed later this year and the works will be completed in 2019 (image courtesy of Laing O'Rourke).

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