The most expensive grade separation ever undertaken in Victoria was completed in April last year with the removal of the notorious level crossing at Springvale at a cost of $159 million.
The level crossing was used by 25,000 vehicles a day on average and was ranked the second most dangerous in the state on a list compiled by the Transport Department seven years ago.
Work on the Springvale Level Crossing Removal Project began in May 2013 after VicRoads awarded a contract to the NetworX Alliance to design and build the project. The NetworX Alliance comprised McConnell Dowell and Balfour Beatty Rail (MDBB), Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca and also VicRoads, Public Transport Victoria and Metro Trains Melbourne.
MDBB engaged Coates Hire as their preferred supplier of hire equipment for the project.
Coates Hire engaged with the client well before the project commenced, working on site facility concepts, dewatering plans and propping solutions. Coates Hire Business Development Manager, Ray Cameron led the discussions because of his wide experience with major projects. He has been involved with Lend Lease, John Holland and a number of other bid teams on major civil projects in Victoria. He introduced Coates Hire product specialists as necessary to deliver the appropriate technical/engineering solutions.
In recognition of the size and importance of the job Major Projects Manager Michael Sfyris was appointed to oversee Coates Hire’s involvement. Sfyris communicated daily with the client and other subcontractors to ensure immediate needs were met, as well being involved with the scheduling of equipment for the night works and occupations
Coates Hire also supplied equipment to the following subcontractors on the project: Geotechnical Engineering, Delcon Civil, PSG Elecraft, Freyssinet Australia, Railworks and Rafferty the Wrecker.
Coates Hire has been the major hire equipment supplier in all grade separation projects in recent years. These include Middleborough Road, Box Hill, Springvale Road, Nunawading, Mitcham and Rooks Roads, Mitcham. With the state government embarking on a program to rid Victoria of 50 level crossings over the next 10 years, Coates Hire has the expertise and equipment assets required for these vital infrastructure works.
A major part of the Springvale project saw the construction of 1006 piles for the retaining wall structure. This was carried out by Geotechnical Engineering who had to ensure a stringent production rate of eight piles per rig per day was achieved, while maintaining both safety and quality throughout the project. This was made all the more difficult by Melbourne’s fickle weather, and conditions provided few favours, with heavy rain and high winds causing project delays.
Working in the rail corridor at night was a common occurrence and MDBB called on Coates Hire to supply lighting towers for the job.
The shutdown over Easter saw the boom gates go down at Springvale Road for the last time, with the opening of the new station and trains running on fresh tracks under the road.
The project began in May 2013 and the new station opened to the public on 22 April 2014. During the project the Alliance team implemented new traffic management layouts, relocated services, installed concrete piles for retaining walls, constructed a new bridge at Springvale Road and prepared for the installation of a new bridge at Warwick Avenue.