To accommodate increased population growth in south-east Queensland, the state government sought to improve access to and stimulate economic activity and job creation for the master-planned communities of Springfield and beyond. The Richlands to Springfield Transport Corridor is a 9.5 km dual track extension of the electrified passenger line and forms part of stage two of the Darra to Springfield Transport Corridor (DSTC) project. It includes an upgrading of the Centenary Motorway and over 1.5 km of elevated structures, including seven rail bridges, four motorway bridges, and two new stations.
Aurecon, as part of the Trackstar Alliance, played an instrumental role in influencing the conceptual design to achieve significant cost-savings (over $150 million) off the initial scheme budget and ensured expedited delivery of the project, providing the following services:
The intersection of the rail alignment with the Logan Motorway Interchange was one of the most challenging and cost-adding components of the project, requiring the rail viaduct to accommodate the planned future ramps and adjacent roads. The project team, utilising their multi-disciplinary expertise, proposed an adjustment in the design of the Logan Motorway Interchange Reference scheme which resulted in a solution that still provided all required traffic movements at their desired design speed while eliminating extra land take and enabling a shorter, flatter, smoother and faster rail alignment. The new viaduct design, which was able to be lowered by several metres, also realised reduced visual and noise impacts and allowed for more consistent span lengths to be adopted that are within standard local girder forms.
The team also found cost-savings by successfully challenging some of the technical requirements, in particular through innovation in the design of the embankments.
Springfield is also the main retail, commercial, health and education centre for the residential communities located along the Centenary Motorway. As such, Springfield Central Station and its integration with the surrounding community and land uses was a critical issue that needed to be addressed in the design of the station.
The station at Springfield is designed to serve the need at project readiness but was developed to integrate as a future transport hub, designed in a manner that allows it to adapt as connections grow, by anticipating future connections to the nearby road network. The station layout will facilitate these connections without having to alter customer use and operation of the interchange facilities. It maximises pedestrian and cycle connections within the greater Springfield area, sets up key connections for an ultimate transit-orientated development road layout and provides for a “park and ride” facility.
Project timelines provided a key challenge on the project as access to the site was delayed by approximately three months, which significantly affected the geotechnical investigation and foundation designs, as well as the start of the construction. The delay was compensated for through a staged delivery of design elements and the use of an early risk-based procurement strategy so that construction of critical path items could begin immediately after IFC drawings were issued to ensure meeting the project completion deadline of December 2013.
The project demonstrates the benefits of multi-disciplinary integration, the value of a sound problem-solving ethos through innovative design and effective collaboration with clients throughout the project lifecycle.