Airport Link, Northern Busway (Windsor to Kedron) & Airport Roundabout Upgrade
CapabilitiesInfrastructure, Tunnels, Roads
The Queensland Government appointed BrisConnections to deliver the $4.8 billion Airport Link, Northern Busway (Windsor to Kedron) and Airport Roundabout Upgrade – Australia’s largest ever road infrastructure project. BrisConnections will also operate and maintain the Airport Link toll road for the concession period of 45 years. Contracted by BrisConnections, Thiess (in joint venture with the John Holland Group) undertook the design, construction and commissioning of the three integrated projects.
The projects comprise two tunnels and a new airport connection – the 6.7 kilometre mainly underground Airport Link toll road, the Windsor to Kedron section of the Northern Busway, and the 750 metre flyover and fast-diamond intersection replacing the airport roundabout. Thiess Services, in joint venture with John Holland Services, will operate and maintain Airport Link during the concession period.
Construction started on the Airport Link Project on November 6, 2008. Thiess John Holland’s innovative design and engineering solutions saw completion in July 2012. The design of these projects will influence five key community precincts including Toombul, Kedron, Windsor, Lutwyche and Bowen Hills. World class busway designs at Kedron and Lutwyche, the transportation of spoil by a conveyor system and substantial realignment of the mainline tunnels and surface connections at Kedron radically reduced surface impacts throughout construction.
The tunnels were dug using two of the largest tunnel boring machines ever to operate in Australia. Requiring 22 operators, they dug through 85 metres of rock each week. Each TBM measured about 165 metres long with a cutter head measuring 12.48 metres in diameter. The machines weigh about 3,000 tonnes each. They travelled 55 metres below the surface at the deepest section of tunnel.
Eleven roadheaders were also used on the project with five more used as the project progressed. The roadheaders required seven operators for each shift and travelled about three to six metres each day depending on ground conditions.
Increasing the overall length of tunnelling on this project provided for less impact on the surface traffic network and reduced impact on the local communities and the environment. Acoustic sheds and noise walls were also used to reduce the potential impact of noise on neighbouring residents.
As part of the project’s commitment to the local communities, a dedicated community relations team worked closely with the construction team and an information centre was established at Centro Lutwyche shopping centre.
As Australia’s largest infrastructure project, Airport Link created roughly 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.