'Superload' delivered to site at Old Geelong Road
27 May 2021
Three huge concrete bridge components have made an epic 300-kilometre truck journey as part of a ‘superload’ operation from Gippsland through to a level crossing removal site in Melbourne’s west.
Manufactured at a pre-cast concrete factory in Sale, the precast concrete – known as crossheads – will soon form part of a brand new 1.2km road bridge being built to remove the dangerous and congested level crossing at Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing.
Now in in peak construction, the project will relieve traffic pressures for around 18,000 vehicles per day that pass through the level crossing, and free up access through to the Werribee Mercy Hospital, located only 350 metres away. Boom gates are currently down for 29 per cent of the two-hour morning peak.
The biggest of the three massive concrete sections weighed in 173 tonnes and travelled on a 58-metre truck and trailer.
A journey time of 16 hours over two days was needed to complete the trip, with the three trucks travelling at speeds of 40 to 60 kilometres per hour and stopping to rest at Rosedale and Drouin before continuing through to Melbourne overnight and arriving in Hoppers Crossing in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
To minimise disruption, these superloads travelled at night, were escorted by traffic controllers and followed a carefully planned route, travelling along the M1 and North Road before passing through St Kilda’s Upper Esplanade, Wurundjeri Way and Footscray Road and the Princes Freeway.
LXRP Program Director Tony Hedley said the successful superload operation was a good example of the state wide supply chain in action.
“Our local crews are a familiar sight to the community, but in reality there are huge numbers of people involved behind the scenes – from pre-cast manufacturers to specialist transport professionals driving the superload trucks. They are just as critical to building infrastructure and removing level crossings as the crews on site,” Mr Hedley said.
“This has been a major logistical exercise and I would like to thank everyone involved at every step of the process, including the motorists who took extra care on these roads and helped us to get these deliveries through smoothly.
"It's just one of the many steps we're taking to make sure the level crossing at Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing is gone for good."
The three pre-cast crossheads will form an integral part of the road bridge at Hoppers Crossing, each supporting 14 beam ends as part of the bridge deck.
Since the start of May, bridge beam installation has continued apace, with more than half of a total 75 bridge beams installed at Hoppers Crossing. The beams are 34 metres long and are manufactured by Westkon Precast in Melton.
The crossheads also supported local jobs, with GBG concrete, a large family owned company based in Sale, Gippsland, manufacturing them at its 480 square metre facility.
On the Werribee line, commuters are reminded that buses replace trains until 30 May while up on projects at Old Geelong Road along with Aviation Road in Laverton.