The $620million Darlington Upgrade project forms part of the Adelaide North-South Corridor Upgrade, a key component in South Australia’s ongoing transport infrastructure strategy. This 78 km north-south freight route upgrade was to eliminate bottlenecks and provide non-stop road links to connect rapidly expanding industrial and residential growth areas throughout Adelaide.

The Darlington Upgrade Project comprised of a 3.3 km upgrade on Main South Road, including a lowered non-stop motorway passing underneath Flinders Drive, Sturt Road, Sutton Road/Mimosa Terrace and Tonsley Boulevard requiring grade separations at five intersections including a full free flow interchange at the Southern Expressway/Main South Road with dedicated ramps providing direct access to the new motorway and Main South Road.


Was the first bridge to move. This is a twin steel box girder 4 span 180m long bridge. The permanent works engineers needed to consider the limitation on where the temporary supports can be located, the need for the safe construction of the deck and the positioning of the SPMTs for the transport operation. An existing bridge constructed in the 1960s was located on the route from the construction location to the final location.

The existing bridge superstructure was found not to have sufficient strength to support the SPMTs carrying BR02. A temporary bridge superstructure was designed such that it could be installed in a weekend, carry South Road traffic for 8 months and the SPMTs with BR02 and another bridge constructed off site (BR03) and then be removed in a weekend. Temporary bearings have been designed to allow the bridge to be placed in its final position, minimising the risk of damage to the permanent bearings and allow for the permanent bearings to be adjusted for final fit. BR02 was moved from construction site to its final position ahead of schedule.


A 3 span 180m long, 3200 tonne bridge was the second bridge to move. The installation used 132 axles in a complex 6 position configuration and was installed across a very challenging road geometry. The move of Bridge BR03 took around 14 hours to complete.


(Ayliffes Road bridge) was the final bridge to move in place. This bridge was the longest and heaviest among the bridges. RBG were lead construction engineers for the project responsible for the design of temporary works and development of the overall construction methodology to enable the move of this 195m long and 3600 tonne bridge.

RBG has been involved in several aspects of the project including:

  • The assessment of existing bridges subject to temporary construction loads
  • Design of temporary works to support existing structures throughout construction
  • The development of novel construction methodologies for three bridges (BR02, BR03 and BR14) . BR14 is separated into two halves; BR14 North and BR 14 South. BR02, BR03 and BR14 North to be built off-site and completed bridges to be transported to their final position by self-propelled mobile trailers (SPMT’s), whereas BR14 South to be built in its final location supported on temporary supports.
  • Crane hardstand and pavement verification
  • Design of long-term temporary bridge.
  • Design of temporary works to temporarily support the completed bridges prior to being transported to their final locations
  • Design of temporary jacking frames for bearing replacement.

Project Metrics

Project Value:
AUD$620 million
Year Completed:

Project Metrics

Gateway South
Primary Contractor:
Fulton Hogan, Lang O’Rourke Joint Venture
Robert Bird Group Services:
Temporary Works Engineering