Project Description

Ovingham Level Crossing Removal

Project Overview

The Australian and South Australian governments have announced $196 million towards the removal of the level crossing at Torrens Road, Ovingham.

The crossing is located near the fringe of the Adelaide CBD on Torrens Road at Ovingham. An average of 21,300 vehicles pass through this level crossing each day.

The boom gates at Torrens Road, Ovingham are down for approximately 22 percent of the time during the combined AM and PM peak periods.

The junction of Torrens Road and Churchill Road is approximately 100 metres from the level crossing.

Torrens Road crosses both the interstate rail line and the Gawler passenger rail line Bowhill’s scope included the supply and manufacture of 16 open top steel girder segments each weighing between 35 and 102 tonnes with a total tonnage of 1,330 for the permanent works. There were also some temporary steel restraints and sand jacks in the Bowhill scope of work.

Optimisation – Having completed previous similar projects with McConnell Dowel and indeed the whole JV team, there was a wonderful opportunity to visit “lessons learned” and to implement continuous improvement. This extended to not just surface level improvements, but deep, industry changing improvements. This CI process was undertaken throughout the design phase, but began very early, an essential ingredient for significant impact and is rarely leveraged. Full credit to the JV for believing in the benefits that this process delivers and for the vision and leadership to use this process to drive efficiencies, safety improvements and widespread risk reduction. The project achieved spectacular success for all stakeholders, true win-win outcomes were achieved through respectful, intelligent and truly collaborative construction.

Challenges overcome – The Ovingham site had some inherent complexities due to road traffic, rail corridor, available space, underground services and significant weight of the structural elements. This impacted the splice locations on the girders which had to be thoroughly scrutinized so that the design landed right on the sweet spot. Tradeoffs had to be made with girder weights in several areas, eg for manufacture, transport and erection considerations. This was a key piece in this construction jigsaw puzzle. ECI (early contractor involvement) allowed all this analysis to happen without guesswork.

Behind the curtain – During the overall design (sub-structure and super-structure) by the JV, the early engagement process allowed a rare opportunity for Bowhill staff to comprehend the complexities of the project. “I remember our client’s senior designer was showing us the model, we were asking a few penitent questions when all of a sudden he enabled some layers of information on his model that we’d never seen before. It was amazing, we got to see the myriad of underground services, fragile early century culverts, main gas lines and many other obstacles that not just the foundations had to acknowledge, but the erection crane outriggers. It was fascinating and allowed us to not only be more understanding of the challenge, but to think more strategically in our support offering to our client” Jeremy Hawkes MD Bowhill Engineering. This level of cooperation, understanding and cross functional collaboration wouldn’t be possible without the unique circumstances that an ECI project enables.

Repurposed temporary works – As we’ve done numerous times, we were able to utilize repurposed temporary steel to support this project, sand jacks for temporarily supporting the girders above the permanent bearings and restraints to hold girders in place were reused from numerous previous project, many requiring little to no modification. This is a great example of environmentally sustainable solutions that are cost effective and practical.

At the end of the day we received great feedback from our client and this is what drives us, we are so proud to work alongside such forward thinking partners and are humbled to be chosen to work on such significant and important infrastructure.

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