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Roads Australia Insider - September 13, 2018


Sydney Gateway next big project on the horizon

The NSW Government has announced this week it's moving forward with the Sydney Gateway, a new $2.6 billion toll-free motorway connection between the New M5 Interchange at St Peters and the Airport and Port Precinct.

The green light follows the reaching of an agreement with Sydney Airport on land required for the project.

The Government says Sydney Gateway will cut travel times from Parramatta to Sydney Airport by up to 40 minutes, and from Campbelltown to Sydney Airport by up to 20 minutes.

The project scope also includes:

  • relocation and reconfiguration of Airport Drive, connecting into the International Terminal;
  • major upgrades to Qantas Drive and Joyce Drive around the Domestic Terminal, including a redesigned intersection into the Terminal; and
  • duplication of the Port Botany Freight Rail Line, to increase freight rail capacity to Australia’s largest container port.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday the Sydney Gateway would be subject to comprehensive environmental assessment to secure planning approvals, with the community invited to provide feedback at key stages.

Subject to planning approvals, the road components are expected to be completed by 2023, with an estimated cost of between $2.2 to $2.6 billion.

The Premier said the connection would help fix notorious bottlenecks and congestion on roads around the airport.

“With Sydney Gateway completed, drivers will be able to travel between Penrith or Parramatta and the Domestic Airport terminal without stopping at a single traffic light,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Vic Government seeking market interest to deliver Airport Rail Link

The Victorian Government has this week opened a Registration of Interest (ROI) process seeking businesses, investors and constructors to help deliver the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

If re-elected, the Andrews Government says it will commit up to $5 billion to the project, which will run from the CBD to the airport via Sunshine. The full Business Case is currently underway in partnership with the Commonwealth, with the project set to begin construction by 2022.

Rail Projects Victoria is leading the global registration of interest. The search includes designers, engineers, rail systems providers, rolling stock providers, investors, financiers, developers and other rail infrastructure providers.

The Link route will connect regional Victorians and all of Melbourne via a new super hub at Sunshine. It will also form the north-western section of the Suburban Rail Loop, an underground rail network forming a circle around Melbourne’s suburbs.The Government announced last month that if re-elected it would invest $300 million for the business case to get the Suburban Rail Loop underway, in addition to the $5 billion for construction of the Airport Rail Link.

It says regional Victorians will benefit from the Suburban Rail Loop via the super-hubs at Sunshine, Broadmeadows and Clayton, providing direct connections into growing employment precincts outside the central business district.


Designs unveiled for Victoria's biggest road project

The Victorian Government has unveiled the detailed designs for the State’s biggest-ever road project, the $15.8 billion North East Link.

And with the reference design now complete, the Government says it will put the project out to market within 100 days of it being re-elected in November’s State poll.

In response to community feedback, the new design features more open space with new green bridges, a new noise standard and 25 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths. The twin, three-lane tunnels are now 5.3 kilometres long, protecting homes and environmentally sensitive parkland above, with the ventilation structures as far away from homes as possible.

The design features 1.2 kilometres of lowered road to minimise the visual impact and create more open spaces with green land bridges.

The Government is aiming for construction to start in 2020, with the road expected to open in 2027.


SA Budget delivers $2.3 billion roads package

Last week’s South Australian Budget delivered an $11.3 billion, four-year pipeline of infrastructure – including $2.3 billion for roads.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the new State Government’s co-operative working relationship with the Commonwealth was already bearing fruit, with significant funding secured for key road and infrastructure projects:

The 2018-19 State Budget road investment includes:
  • $354.3 million Pym to Regency Rd Section of the North-South Corridor
  • $200 million for the duplication of the Joy Baluch AM Bridge
  • $88.5 million for the Port Wakefield Rd Overpass and widening of the Augusta Highway to four lanes through Port Wakefield
  • $16.5 million for the staged upgrade of infrastructure around the Mitcham Hills network
  • $15.0 million for the installation of Southern Expressway safety screens and safety camera upgrades

The Budget also established the dedicated Regional Roads and Infrastructure Fund promised before the last State election.

Mr Lucas said funding for initiative would come from a revenue stream drawn from 30 per cent of total royalty revenue paid by mineral resources and petroleum companies producing in South Australia. Estimated to raise $315 million over four years, the Fund will be used for a number of regional projects, including the Penola bypass ($14.6 million), and the Nairne intersection upgrade ($5 million).

Budget investments in public transport infrastructure include:

  • $615 million for the Gawler Rail Line Electrification project ($578 million over the forward estimates)
  • $37 million to install a right-hand turn as part of the city tram extension
  • $18.5 million for park ‘n’ rides along the O-Bahn network, building on the $15 million previously provided
  • $600,000 for the business case for the extension of tram services in the CBD
  • $11.7 million for the city south tram line renewal and stop upgrade


Japanese leaders unveil ambitious vehicle automation program to RA delegation

Australian transport leaders have been given a glimpse into the future of mobility in Japan, with the country on track to introduce Level 3 vehicle automation in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Roads Australia delegation members met with government and industry transport leaders in Japan last week on the first leg of our Cities for the Future study visit. This week the group is in Seoul before stopping over in Singapore on the return to Australia.

Japan has an impressive and aggressive program for the introduction of autonomous vehicles on the Japanese road network. This would see technologies developed and commercialised for autopilot (level 3) vehicles by 2020, and fully automated (level 4) vehicles for the Japanese expressway system by 2025.

Technology to support truck platooning (with unmanned trailing vehicles) on expressways is also slated for 2022, with fully automated driving of trucks on expressways by 2025.

This accelerated program is being led and sponsored by the Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), which is coordinated by the Cabinet Office in Tokyo.

SIP is a national, coordinated science, technology and innovation project that brings together representatives from government, academia and industry. The project has identified 11 areas of focus – one of which is automated driving systems.

What was notable to our Roads Australia delegation members was the way in which the SIP members have set aside competitive tensions in the interests of providing Japan with a potentially world-leading introduction of driverless vehicles on its road network.

Integral to the program is the multi-industry and science sector collaboration in sophisticated positioning and mapping technology development under the leadership of the Dynamic Map Platform Company.

This technology has the potential to be a significant advance in the accuracy of mapping and positioning required to secure a safe and reliable transition to autonomous vehicle operations.

The key take-out for our delegation: Australia – and the rest of the world - should be watching.

Vehicle automation a ‘game-changer’ for road safety, says RA

Recommendations by the Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS), particularly around the accelerated uptake of new technologies and investment in road safety focussed infrastructure, have been welcomed by Roads Australia.

Released yesterday, the Inquiry’s final report included 12 key recommendations - among them calls for a renewed focus on harm elimination, a $3 billion a year road safety fund, and stronger leadership via the appointment of a dedicated Federal Cabinet minister and new national agency.

Speaking from Singapore, where he is leading a delegation looking at future transport and mobility solutions, Roads Australia President, David Stuart-Watt, said the Inquiry recommendations clearly and appropriately acknowledged that a multi-faceted, multi-government response was urgently required to get the NRSS back on track.

“Notwithstanding, autonomous vehicle technology will be a game-changer for road safety,” he said.

“Our delegation has just come from Japan, where government, industry and academia are working closely together to fully realise the economic, social and road safety potentials that vehicle automation promises.

“Australian governments are already working actively and co-operatively to prepare the way for self-driving vehicles. The more we can do to accelerate the safe introduction of this technology on our roads, the more lives we can save.”

Mr Stuart-Watt congratulated the Inquiry Committee on its response to the Federal Government’s terms of reference and timeline.

“The Inquiry has identified a lot of areas where we can improve, and practical steps we can take to get there,” he said.

“From a road industry perspective, an ongoing priority and focus area for us is road-worker safety.

“It’s important to recognise that road safety isn’t just about drivers and passengers. It’s also about the workers who build and maintain our roads, as well as the emergency service responders.”


TSRC site visit an eye-opening experience for Queensland Fellows

RA’s 2018 Queensland Fellows have recently got ‘up close and personal’ with one of the State’s largest and highest priority road projects - the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC).

The August site visit was organised by 2018 Mentor and ACCIONA Engineering Director, Christophe Kowalczyk, and supported by TSRC Project Director Mike Millar. Mike is part of the Nexus Delivery team, a JV between ACCIONA Infrastructure Australia and Ferrovial Agroman, responsible for the project’s design and construction for the successful bidder, Nexus Infrastructure.

Over two days, our Queensland Fellows participated in a detailed project briefing, leadership discussions, a young professionals session with on-site engineers, and viewings of multiple sections of the 41km route, including the 800m long viaduct bridge.

When complete, the TSRC will improve road and driver safety, reduce travel time across the Toowoomba range by up to 40 minutes for heavy commercial vehicles, and relieve pressure on local roads by redirecting trucks away from Toowoomba’s CBD.

A huge thanks to ACCIONA for going above and beyond to create this wonderful opportunity for the leaders of tomorrow.

RA’s Fellowship Program spans 12 months, with Fellows typically undertaking one-on-one mentoring and participating in State-based and national leadership workshops and team projects. Applications have just closed for our 2019 Fellows intake.

If you or someone you know is interested in hosting a Fellows site visit in 2019, please contact Hannah Sauvarin at RA.

Victorian public sector gets boost to help deliver infrastructure pipeline

The Victorian Government is creating a Victorian Major Projects Leadership Academy to build and maintain the public sector talent needed to deliver complex infrastructure projects.

The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, in partnership with Ernst & Young (EY), has been selected to establish the new Academy.

Treasurer Tim Pallas says Saïd Business School is a world leader in research on the rise and impact of complex mega projects, having set up and run the Major Projects Leadership Academy for the UK Government for the past five years.

“Paired with EY’s in-depth local knowledge of the Victorian and Australian setting, this world class partnership will tailor a quality program that is relevant to the needs of Victoria’s infrastructure teams,” he says

"The Office of Projects Victoria (OPV) has undertaken a comprehensive process to appoint world-class organisations for this important training program. It’s expected the first cohort of 25 project leaders from across 20 Victorian Government delivery agencies and departments will commence the program early next year."

The program will run for 12-18 months with intensive learning blocks for project leaders to learn together.

Mr Pallas says Government infrastructure investment will reach $13.7 billion in 2018-19, with a total of $78.9 billion in state capital projects commencing or underway.

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