The Victorian government intends to remove more than 50 railway level crossings in the Melbourne metropolitan area during 2016-17, as part of a road safety infrastructure program.
Construction company John Holland Group won the right to remove three of these level crossings, at Bentleigh, Ormond and McKinnon stations.
As well as putting the rail lines underneath the road, the company had to build three new railway stations, their road approaches and electrical infrastructure. The railway network had to be shut down and the critical works completed in 37 days – considered a very short amount of time to complete such a job.
The project would have to be conducted around an ‘occupation’, says John Holland Group manager for logistics, Rick Manning, and the project was designed to run 24/7, with up to 1,000 people on-site during the night or day. This required a lot of barriers, lifts and shoring systems, but especially lighting.
“We had high expectations for the quality of lighting on-site,” says Manning. “Our own occupational health and safety standards, and industry concerns, meant we needed task lighting of the best quality to ensure a safe work environment on the night shifts.”
Brad Lewis, Major Project Manager at Coates Hire Melbourne, says the company supplied over 700 barriers, more than 100 light towers and a collection of scissor lifts, forklifts, generators, tip trucks, pumps, steel plates, booms, telehandlers, portable buildings, excavators, props and general equipment.
Coates Hire also supplied its ‘Mega Brace’ shoring solutions for the 23 metre-deep excavations and a range of pumping solutions.
Brad Lewis says the John Holland Northern Level Crossing Removal project was one of the biggest undertaken by Coates Hire and proved its capacity to not just supply gear and equipment, but also assist in project design and specialist works such as the Mega Brace shoring in the pits and cut and dive.
Lewis says the project itself was an enormous task and very successfully managed. “Considering the circumstances and pressure they were under, everyone from John Holland was fantastic to deal with. What they have achieved here is a credit to themselves and their brand.”
Rick Manning says the test of the job was that so many people from the construction industry came together to be part of something that had never been attempted before. Interested overseas construction professionals visited the site during this period, says Manning. “Most of them couldn’t believe it would all get done in 37 days – it’s quite an achievement for this country’s construction industry. We relied on Coates Hire to make it happen.”