The Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads Pacific Highway Upgrade is a $600M D+C project that includes a 19.5km new dual carriageway road; new interchanges; and new bridges including an 800mm bridge over the Nambucca River. RBG was engaged by the Acciona-Ferrovial Joint Venture (Pacifico) for civil and structural temporary works design, including the design of an 8ha pre-cast facility.

The facility included design of earthworks and high-load pavements in backwater swamp conditions; access roads for light and over-sized vehicles; precast shed with girder forms and girder storage; and drainage systems with water quality management measures. RBG prepared multiple earthworks modelling scenarios to gain efficiencies in the earthworks for a complicated site with poor ground conditions. RBG undertook flood analysis to determine appropriate flood protection levels for the facility, as the site was located in an area prone to flooding. RBG also provided building design services for the casting shed using a specialist sub-consultant.

Project Value:
$600 million D&C
Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture

Robert Bird Group Services:
Civil Engineering
Structural Engineering
Temporary Works

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Key technical innovation

  • Design of mega column and mega piles to resist the large concentrated truss loads. Specialised piling rigs were required to construct the 2100mm diameter mega piles required to resist the truss loads.
  • Developing a strategy to resist the mega truss uplift forces with the use of special high strength reinforcement.
  • To maximise the office floor column grids, HISTAR 460 HD columns were adopted in the design. Column cross sections are relatively small with thick web and flanges, as large as 140mm thick. HD Columns are fabricated and transported from Luxembourg.

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