Roads Australia NEWS

Roads Australia Insider - February 23, 2011

Feedback sought on land freight vision

The Federal Government has this week released for public comment its draft National Land Freight Strategy.

The draft Strategy calls for:

One national, integrated system

  • Identify the existing and yet-to-be built roads, rail lines, intermodals, ports and airports which will link together to form a workable, truly national freight network. As part of this process, consideration would be given to opening up more roads to bigger vehicles, establishing dedicated freight routes and separating passenger trains from freight trains.

 Effective local planning

  • Protect the network’s land corridors from urban encroachment and make sure they are not lost to other activities. In the longer term, such preservation efforts will save money, ensure the timely delivery of new or upgraded infrastructure and minimise conflict within the local community.

Long-term targetted funding

  • Put in place a long term capital works program which prioritise projects of greatest strategic important and draws on the financial resources of both the public and private sectors. The Strategy also highlights the benefits and cost-effectiveness of using new technology to get the most out of existing infrastructure.

Smarter regulations

  • Reform the way our $61 billion transport industry is regulated, with the ultimate goal of replacing the existing state based arrangements with one set of nationwide laws. Based on the work to date, national regulators for maritime safety, rail safety and heavy vehicles will be in place by the beginning of 2013.

 More accountability

  • Implement improved data collection and establish benchmarks to monitor performance and make international comparisons.

“With freight volumes nationwide set to double between 2007 and 2030, there’s a clear and urgent need for national leadership and long term planning to make sure our transport infrastructure can cope with this much greater demand,” Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, said yesterday.

To obtain a copy of the draft Strategy and provide feedback on the direction, ideas and measures it’s proposing, go to the Infrastructure Australia website.

 

 

Qld Government Sights fixed on road ahead

Despite the floods, the majority of big road projects in Queensland are on time and on track for completion, according to Main Roads Minister, Craig Wallace.

Minister Wallace told Parliament last week it was important to note that 70 per cent of state-controlled roads cut by flooding were reopened to traffic within two days.

“It was a mighty effort by Main Roads crews to get Queensland moving again – to reopen our highways and rebuild and repair the state’s road network,” Mr Wallace said.

“When it comes to major infrastructure projects, Main Roads is back in business. Despite the floods, the majority of our big projects are on time, on track and on target."

These included:

  • the Pacific Motorway upgrade between the Gateway and Logan Motorways – on schedule for completion in August this year;
  • the Bruce Highway upgrade between Sankeys Road and Traveston Road – on track for completion in June next year;
  • the Douglas Arterial duplication – on schedule;
  • the Townsville Port Access Road, up and running at the end of next year as planned;
  • Griffith Arterial Road – the intersection upgrade of Mains and Kessels Roads still scheduled for completion by June 2014; and
  • the Mount Lindesay Highway – between Rosia Road and Chambers Flat,  on time for the end of this year.

Minister Wallace also announced that Port Connect in the state’s south east will be even bigger.

“$385 million will deliver a four-lane expansion of the Port of Brisbane Motorway," he said.

“It was always our hope to deliver a full four-lane upgrade and we were able to do it for significantly less money than was first thought. It’s about value for money and it’s about planning for and managing growth in Queensland– even in the toughest of times."

Meantime, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, announced earlier this month that more than $216 million had been approved for the state-controlled Queensland road network through the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) scheme.

“More than $153 million has also been approved for restoration works on the local government road network for Maranoa Regional Council, Balonne, Bulloo, Murweh, Paroo and Quilpie shires,” he said.

 

Case studies point to best practice approach to infrastructure delivery

The Federal Government has this month released a series of case studies to assist governments and industry in planning and delivering infrastructure.

Requested by the Infrastructure Working Group of COAG, Infrastructure Planning and Delivery: Best Practice Case Studies provides analysis of six infrastructure projects:

  • Port Melbourne Channel Deepening Project;
  • M7 Motorway, Sydney;
  • Northern Expressway, South Australia;
  • Southbank Institute of Technology, Queensland;
  • Tiger Brennan Drive, Northern Territory;
  • Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, Western Australia.

The case studies reveal a common set of guiding principles, with the finding that new infrastructure is more likely to deliver value for money to the taxpayer and a good return to investors when proponents:

  1. Develop long-term plans and robust business cases;
  2. Employ strong governance arrangements;
  3. Choose their procurement model on the basis of project specifics and in accordance with established guidelines;
  4. Transfer risk appropriately;
  5. Carefully manage local and environmental impacts;
  6. Remain open to learning the lessons of previous projects.

 A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.infrastructure.gov.au.

 

Australian cities not keeping up with commuter needs, says IBM study

The majority of Australian commuters are stressed as a result of their daily trips and are willing to embrace technology to change their travel experience, according to the findings of a new study released last week by IBM.

According to the IBM Australian Commuter Pain Study, as many as 81 per cent of drivers experience travel stress, yet much of this could be reduced by the greater use of technology in the management of traffic flows and more flexibility in the way we approach work.

Almost half (47 per cent) of those surveyed believe improved public transportation will help reduce their travel stress, and this can be achieved by sophisticated analytics of transport systems - indicating that building new infrastructure is only part of the solution.

Other technological solutions include introducing greater flexibility to work from home (35 per cent) and accurate and timely information on road conditions (31 per cent).

IBM says the first-of-its-kind study in Australia illustrates how traffic is interfering with quality of life and the health and productivity of Australians at work.

The survey of over 1,500 commuters across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth looked at differences in metropolitan commuting patterns and the effects roadway traffic and work, university and school performance had on a person’s health and lifestyle.

The survey found that driving a car alone is the main mode of transportation by which most Australians commute to and from work, university or school (63 per cent). This is more common in Perth (70 per cent), Brisbane (69 per cent) and Adelaide (67 per cent) than in Sydney (62 per cent) and Melbourne (58 per cent).

In the last three years, 22 per cent of drivers experienced roadway traffic so bad that they turned around and went home. This response to chronic congestion is highest in Sydney (27 per cent) and Brisbane (25 per cent) and lowest in Adelaide (11 per cent) and Perth (11 per cent).

The IBM study also shows that Australians’ reliance on cars for commuting severely impacts the nation’s health and stress levels, with 41 per cent of drivers believing that traffic has negatively affected their health and 39 per cent believing it has negatively affected their performance at work or school//university.

Sydney commuters are worst off, with 50 per cent of drivers in that city experiencing negative health effects, whilst the least affected are in Adelaide (28 per cent) and Perth (28 per cent). Among those who believe that traffic has negatively affected their health, increased stress (77 per cent) and anger (52 per cent) are the primary symptoms.

For more information, go to the IBM website.

 

CONTRACT BUILDS MOMENTUM TOWARDs VISIONARY SOUTH ROAD

A planning study contract for Adelaide's South Road has been awarded to the consortium of KBR, URS Australia and Mott MacDonald Australia.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, and South Australian Transport Minister, Patrick Conlon, made the announcement last week, saying the awarding of the contract was an important milestone in the development of the South Road corridor.

“It’s part of a series of studies being undertaken to ensure that future construction projects on the South Road corridor will be implemented in a coordinated, strategic manner. We’re aiming to maximise benefits for both freight and commuter traffic," Mr Albanese said.

 “The study will develop a plan for a multi-million dollar upgrade of approximately nine kilometres of South Road between the South Road Superway and Gallipoli Underpass as part of a dedicated north-south corridor stretching 78 kilometres from Gawler to Old Noarlunga.”

 Starting this month, the planning study will initiate early engagement with local businesses, residents and a range of key stakeholders both on and around the South Road corridor.



UPGRADE OF BRUCE HIGHWAY BETWEEN COOROY AND CURRA ROLLS ON

Synergy JV has been selected to undertake the third major package of construction works associated with the upgrade of the Bruce Highway between Sankeys Road and Traveston Road.
 
The joint venture will next month begin laying bitumen along the new nine kilometre corridor, which has just been cleared of more than five million cubic metres of soil and rock.
 
The multimillion dollar package of work also includes building a Coles Creek Road overpass and erecting bridges over Coles Creek.
 
Synergy JV is a joint venture comprising Civil Mining Corporation, Downer EDI Works and Probuild Civil (Queensland).
 
The realignment of the Bruce Highway between Sankeys and Traveston roads is a jointly funded project, with the Commonwealth contributing $488 million and the State a further $125 million.
 
Queensland Main Roads Minister, Craig Wallace, says the project is progressing at an impressive rate since it started in September 2009, with all the signs indicating that it will be completed on budget and on time in 2012.
 
“Once completed, the new 12 kilometre section of four-lane, divided highway will provide safer driving conditions, with wide shoulders, emergency stopping bays and Intelligent Transport Systems such as speed-activated Variable Message Signs,” he says.
 
The fourth construction contract which includes the construction of an interchange near Traveston Road and bridges over Skyring Creek is expected to start later this year.



AUSTRALIA’S LONGEST BRIDGE MARKS PACIFIC HIGHWAY PROGRESS

Abigroup will design and build Australia’s longest bridge as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade in northern NSW.
 
The 3.2 kilometre bridge will cross the Macleay River and floodplain and is an important part of the 14.5 kilometre Kempsey bypass project, a new four-lane dual carriageway bypassing Kempsey and Frederickton.  
 
“The total length of the bridge was originally planned to be 2.2 kilometres, however the bridge was extended by one kilometre after redesign, making it the longest bridge in the country,” NSW Roads Minister, David Borger, said last week.
 
“Not only will this be the longest bridge in Australia but the change to the design means the project will open to traffic one year earlier than expected, in 2013.
 
“The high standards of innovation in the planning and design of this bridge reflect the progress made along the 664 kilometre length of the Pacific Highway upgrade, one of the largest road infrastructure projects ever carried out in NSW.”

 

NRMA UNVEILS New plan to transform Sydney's West

A new report commissioned by the NRMA has found that the cost of two of Sydney’s most critical transport projects could be recovered by the revitalisation of Parramatta Road over a 25-year period.

The M4 report, released last week, forms part of the NRMA’s Seeing Red on Roads campaign.

Conducted by internationally-renowned Urban Planner Ed Blakely (Blakely Global) and engineering firm SKM, the report found that construction of the 8.5 kilometre M4 East Tunnel from Concord to the Sydney CBD could reduce travel times across the inner-west by up to 30 minutes and significantly ease traffic along Parramatta Road.

The project would enable the next NSW Government to reduce traffic lanes on Parramatta Road and re-zone the district within the parameters of existing zoning laws. Stamp duties and other state revenues collected from the revitalisation of Parramatta Road would cover the cost of the M4 East over 25 years and fund light rail along Parramatta Road to the city.

The report conservatively estimates the cost of constructing the M4 East, light rail along Parramatta Road and the costs of local public works along Parramatta Road to be up to $7.38 billion.

Total revenues over a 25-year period could reach $10.8 billion through state taxes such as stamp duty and land tax.

This approach could allow the next Government to borrow against future revenue streams. It is one of the funding options the NRMA would like the next Government to consider.

In addition to building the M4 East, the NRMA study considered the introduction of a light rail and public transit network along the Parramatta Corridor.

The rejuvenation project will see improvements made to the public domain, streetscapes, the inclusion of cycle ways and pedestrian pathways and could create another 23,000 apartments in the area.

NRMA President Wendy Machin said the report would be presented to both the NSW Government and the Opposition for their immediate consideration before the March 26 state election. 


For more information, go to the NRMA website.

 

Infrastructure trade mission to Japan in March

Sir Rod Eddington, President of the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee (AJBCC), is leading a delegation of 37 key representatives of the Australian infrastructure industry to Japan from March 8 to 11.  
 
This will be the second such mission to Japan. This initiative has the support of the top levels of both Australian and Japanese government and industry.  The prime focuses of interest to the Japan sector are road, rail (including the energy and resources dimension) and water. Leighton and NEXCO East are jointly developing the half-day parallel session program focussed on road.
 
The AJBCC  arranged a joint infrastructure mission to India last year and is also planning a joint mission to Indonesia in May 2011.
 
Austrade also supports the AJBCC in this initiative as it opens doors for Australian infrastructure related companies and Japanese companies to jointly explore collaborative business opportunities right across Asia.
 
If interested in participating, contact Paul Gallagher, Executive Director of the AJBCC as soon as possible on (02) 6270-8030, or by e-mail to ajbcc@acci.asn.au.

Meantime, the Victorian Government and Australian Industry Group are taking a delegation to Vietnam from March 21 to 25.  The aim of the mission is to allow Victorian-based firms to explore some of the country’s transport and urbanisation opportunities.

Please contact Nicole Schuler, Principal Adviser, AIG on either (03) 9867 0221 or Nicole.schuler@aigroup.asn.au  Austrade will be assisting with in-market support services. Please register your interest ASAP.

Austrade has made Roads Australia aware of a number transport infrastructure opportunities and initiatives across Asia - specifically in Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, China and India.

For more information contact Stan Roche, Senior Export Adviser -Infrastructure, with the Australian Trade Commission. 

 

 

To get the latest information and booking details on upcoming ROADS AUSTRALIA events, including boardroom lunches with ministers and senior department heads, go to our Events page.

Submitted by Mark Bowmer on Wednesday February 23rd 2011 11:16am

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