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Roads Australia Insider - March 16, 2020

 


Update on RA events program 

RA has postponed a number of upcoming events as it closely monitors the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Monday 16 March, the following events have been postponed until further notice:

  • this Wednesday’s (18 March) Melbourne Young Professionals breakfast
  • this Friday’s (20 March) Adelaide industry lunch with DPTI Chief Executive Tony Braxton-Smith
  • the 26 March Melbourne Board Dinner

Anyone who has registered and paid for a postponed RA event will receive a full refund. (Contact Rachael Rooney, Director – Events. if you have any queries.)

It is likely more events will be postponed or cancelled; if and when this happens, we will advise registered attendees. In the meantime, we are investigating options to deliver certain events on-line, where it is practicable to do so.

We are continuing to monitor advice from the National Cabinet and Chief Medical Officer and will keep our members and stakeholders informed as this public health crisis plays out.


 

Next stage of light rail part of vision for the Southern Gold Coast

The Queensland Government has released a transport vision for the Southern Gold Coast, revealing new opportunities to plan future stages for light rail, heavy rail and further reduce road congestion.

The comprehensive, two-year study identifies a range of potential transport options, including the preferred extension route of the next stage of light rail from Burleigh to Tugun, travelling along the Gold Coast Highway to the Airport. The study also suggests that, once completed, the M1 upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun could reduce traffic on the Gold Coast Highway, presenting new opportunities for pedestrian and bike-friendly boulevards at Palm Beach, Currumbin and Burleigh.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said last week the highway route for the next stage of Gold Coast Light Rail would simplify planning for future heavy rail extensions on the Gold Coast between Varsity Lakes and the airport.

“The current preserved width of the heavy rail corridor next to the M1 means we can’t accommodate future extensions of both light rail and heavy rail along that route,” Mr Bailey said.

“Directing light rail along the highway protects the M1 rail corridor for its principal use as a future heavy rail connection to the airport.

“The Gold Coast Highway route would travel close to where people already live, work and go to the beach and service popular destinations including the Burleigh Heads village, Palm Beach village, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Southern Cross University, Tugun, Bilinga and importantly the Gold Coast Airport."

The Gold Coast Highway (Burleigh Heads to Tugun) Multi-modal Corridor Study identified the following opportunities:

  • Improve Palm Beach Avenue precinct  - transform the intersection of Palm Beach Avenue, Gold Coast Hwy and Cypress Ave into a pedestrian-friendly precinct with street dining, shopping and urban renewal.
  • Improve connectivity to the M1  - potential new service road through a widened M1 overpass at 19th Avenue, as part of the M1 (Varsity Lakes to Tugun) upgrade, improving access to Palm Beach.
  • Bike riding/pedestrian - new bridges for bikes and pedestrians across Tallebudgera and Currumbin creeks.
  • Oceanway - a beachfront cycling and walking path along the full length of Palm Beach.
  • Toolona Street - improve the Gold Coast Highway and Toolona Street intersection by providing alternate access points and reducing traffic movements.
  • Burleigh Heads National Park - improve bike riding, pedestrian, light rail and vehicle access to the southern entrance of Burleigh Heads National Park.
  • Connectivity to Burleigh Ridge Park - a land bridge connecting Burleigh Heads National Park and Burleigh Ridge Park to help protect wildlife and improve bike riding and bushwalking connections.

 

New tolling structure for North East Link

A State-owned company will be set up to collect tolls for the long-awaited North East Link, with toll revenue going towards the cost of building and maintaining the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network.

The North East Link will be the first road in Victoria whose tolling rights are held by the State Government.

The Government says an overhauled Eastern freeway, with express lanes and a dedicated busway, will remain toll free as will other key local roads like Greensborough Highway and the M80 Ring Road.

The North East Link will carry up to 135,000 vehicles daily, connect the M80 to an Eastern Freeway while slashing travel times by 35 minutes and taking 15,000 trucks off local roads.

A Bill introduced in Parliament this month includes creating the new State Tolling Corporation to provide for tolling and enforcement powers. The State-collected toll revenue will pay for long-term maintenance including ensuring the safety and upkeep of the tunnels, road surface and roadside areas.

Like other toll roads in Victoria, Parliament will be able to have approval and revocation rights for the specific tolling arrangements, including the base tolls and rates of escalation.

Toll points are expected to be finalised once the preferred bidder for the North East Link’s primary package has been selected.

 

Victoria to adopt 'recycled first' for greener transport infrastructure

The Victorian Government has released details of a Recycled First program aimed at boosting the use of recycled and reused materials in construction projects.

It says Recycled First will build new requirements into future projects under the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority, bringing a uniform approach to the use of recycled products and driving innovation in sustainable materials.

The program will incorporate recycled and reused materials that meet existing standards for road and rail projects – with recycled aggregates, glass, plastic, timber, steel, ballast, crushed concrete, crushed brick, crumb rubber, reclaimed asphalt pavement and organics taking precedence over brand new materials.

Companies interested in delivering major transport infrastructure projects will be required to demonstrate how they will prioritise recycled and reused materials while maintaining compliance and quality standards.

The Government says that coupled with its Extractive Resources Strategy to secure access to critical construction materials, the use of new, high-quality recycled alternatives for major projects will drive lower-cost infrastructure by reducing reliance on raw materials.

Work is already underway with current construction partners to ensure more recycled content is being used on major projects , in addition to the new Recycled First requirements.

The M80 Ring Road, Monash Freeway and South Gippsland Highway upgrades will use more than 20,000 tonnes of recycled materials, and 190 million glass bottles will be used in surfaces on the $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade.

Recycled demolition material was also used to build extra lanes along 24 kilometres of the Tullamarine Freeway as well as the Monash Freeway and M80 Ring Road.

The Government is also reusing materials created by its own projects, with 14,000 tonnes of soil excavated from the Metro Tunnel site in Parkville now being used in pavement layers on roads in Point Cook. This material weighs as much as 226 E-class Melbourne trams and would otherwise have gone to landfill.

Almost 56 million tyres are discarded nationally every year, but just 10 per cent are recycled. Researchers have started trialling the use of crumbed tyre rubber on busy metropolitan roads, with the asphalt to be tested on a kilometre and a half section of East Boundary Road in Bentleigh East.




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