In an unusual feat of engineering, a huge steel rail bridge has been slid across the Eumemmerring Creek in Melbourne’s south east.
The bridge – which forms part of track duplication works between Dandenong and Cranbourne – was successfully launched from one side of the creek to the other by a team of 50 workers.
Like a giant lego set brought to life the 63-metre bridge was pieced together piece by piece from steel segments trucked in from Geelong, before being manoeuvred inch by inch across the creek.
The three-day operation was made possible by an ingenious system consisting of steel strands connected to an ingenious launch runway and apparatus.
The design and construction formed part of a mammoth 60,000 hour design and construction effort that avoided touching the waterway or any sensitive vegetation.
All up, 340 tonnes of Australian steel was used to create the bridge along with 11,600 steel bolts.
With the bridge now in place, workers will return later this year to lay railway track over the structure.
Eight kilometres of new, duplicated track is being installed as part of the $1 billion Cranbourne Line Upgrade, which also includes building a new Merinda Park Station and removing the last three level crossings along the line.
Supporting local jobs, more than 16,000 rail sleepers will be used from Geelong, ballast from Pakenham, and more than 22 kilometres of Australian steel rail welded in Sunshine.
In 2020, Evans Road became the first crossing to be removed as part of the Cranbourne Line Upgrade, reconnecting the suburbs of Lyndhurst and Lynbrook.
Building a second track between Cranbourne and Dandenong paves the way for trains every ten minutes on the Cranbourne line and a more reliable service.