The construction of Perth’s new northern highway required a large fleet of traffic barriers, lights and generators.

The Project

NorthLink WA is a $1.02 billion road initiative, funded by federal and state governments, to ensure a viable northern highway to cater for Perth’s projected 3.5 million population. NorthLink WA is being constructed in three sections: Guildford Road to Reid Highway (southern section, completed in 2018); Reid Highway to Ellenbrook (central section); and connecting Ellenbrook to Muchea with a free-flowing dual carriageway (northern section). 
 
The Challenge

NorthLink WA’s northern section is a high-profile public project that builds a new highway, across farms and scrub lands. It includes flyovers, bridges and three interchanges and requires large amounts of equipment that must be reliable and serviced in isolated areas. The northern section will result in a fit-for-purpose section of Tonkin Highway with four lanes taking the majority of heavy traffic away from Great Northern Highway. It has interchanges at Stock Road, Neaves Road and Brand Highway and a four metre-wide principal shared path for cyclists and pedestrians along the eastern edge of the route, to provide safer and better connections between local communities.
 
The Solution

The national construction company, CPB Contractors, was awarded the contract to build the NorthLink WA northern section. On behalf of Main Roads WA, the company will deliver 23 kilometres of new highway, a deviation at Brand Highway, 13 bridges, grade-separated roundabouts at Stock Road, Neaves Road and Brand Highway, and a continuous grade-separated principal shared path between Maralla Road and Brand Highway at Muchea.

Coates Hire is the largest equipment hire company in Australia making it a natural partner to support CPB Contractors to meet the challenges of a fast-paced environment and a complex, multifaceted project.

The extensive works necessitate fleets of equipment, and the equipment supplied from Coates Hire includes drum rollers, lighting towers, generator sets, pumps, BG800 safety barriers and large plate compactors.

Coates Hire assists CPB Contractors in efficiencies and cost-control measures on the project through comprehensive servicing and online support, and an industry-leading online compliance system which helps ensure safety standards are met on every piece of equipment.

Coates Hire Major Project Manager, Jason Gardiner-Neill, says the NorthLink WA northern section contract is spread over a large geographic area and requires a lot of hire equipment.

Equipment hired includes 3.4 kilometres of BG 800 steel traffic barrier, lighting towers, Variable Messaging Boards, generators and arrow boards, dewatering equipment, rollers and compaction plates.

Gardiner-Neill says CPB Contractors has project criteria that can only be fulfilled by a full-service hire company. “The contractors don’t just require a lot of equipment. They need it spread over a large area, out in the bush. We have a new fleet, which is highly reliable, and we have the resources to put service crews into the field to cover a big project.”

Because of the isolation and firm timelines, he says CPB Contractors specifies hire equipment that is safe, reliable, modern and low energy-usage.

Coates Hire equipment is popular with civil contractors, he says, because the new LED lighting towers are small-footprint and low energy usage, and the new generators are highly efficient, using less diesel.

Gardiner-Neill says large projects have to keep within budget and timelines, and they share the equipment over several work sites. So Coates Hire uses its transport capability to shift equipment – especially safety barriers – from site to site.

“In August 2018 alone, we did 16 consecutive nights of barrier relocation work so the contractors could stay on schedule.

“The equipment is only part of the job – you have to be able to service it and move it around and it has to be done to a strict timetable. There’s no downtime on these projects. Most hire companies don’t have our levels of equipment, maintenance, management, safety compliance and transport logistics. Coates Hire brings the total solution.”

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