2021 Abstracts

Informing Road Transport Sector Investments in the Context of Climate Change: A Bruce Highway Case Study Demonstrator

Jagath Abeynayake
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Mark Edwards
Director, Geoscience Australia

The investment required to address current road transport sector risk is significant. Much critical infrastructure has been constructed without adequate consideration of severe hazard and the implications of disruption to transport systems. This is particularly so for flood hazard and how this might be exacerbated by a changing climate. In this presentation a recently completed collaborative case study is described that has taken a historical flood on the Haughton River flood plain south of Townsville, assessed the broader impacts of that event, and then forecast how these could change with changing climate.

Smart roads – using technology for enhanced predictive road maintenance

Luke Abercrombie

Head of Technology, Transurban

Transurban Queensland is always looking for innovative ways to improve how our motorways are operated and maintained. Transurban Queensland operates 80 kilometres of toll roads in Brisbane including the Gateway and Logan motorways, Clem7, Go Between Bridge, Legacy Way and AirportlinkM7. Transurban also operates and maintains the Inner City Bypass.

Our team works 24/7, 365 days a year to keep the roads operating and maintained to the highest quality for our customers. We are looking at new technologies to enhance our predictive road maintenance capabilities. Jeff’s presentation will include information on the following:

  • Gateway Bridge structural health monitoring
  • Near miss accident data from connected cars
  • Road scanning (ground penetrating radar combined with hyperspectral scanning)
  • Sensors in storm water drains to detect blockages

Carbon Crunchers – Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Construction Materials

Josh Armstrong

Brisbane Office Leader, ENGEO (Australia) Pty Ltd

The Problem: Humans have an insatiable appetite for concrete. It’s the most widely used manufactured material in the world, with the production of cement emitting around 8% of the world’s annual CO2 emissions. A large part of the problem is that concrete production starts with the quarrying of limestone, a rock made of fossilised calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which is then burned to make cement. Approximately 60% of the CO2 emissions from manufacturing cement comes from the burning of limestone, and the other 40% comes from the fossil fuel required to produce heat to burn the limestone.

Our Solution: We have a highly exciting vision which we believe can significantly reduce the global construction industry’s carbon emissions. By growing organisms (Carbon Crunchers) that produce CaCO3, as opposed to mining limestone, we can immediately reduce the carbon footprint of construction by making durable building products out of CaCO3.

Some examples of product innovation we intend to research are CaCO3 panels or blocks, pavement stabilisation applications, or a slurry that could be used to create 3D printed structures. Adding a small percentage of CaCO3 to concrete has also been shown to improve the material’s strength, which is a further benefit of this innovation.

Research to Date: In 2018 ENGEO engaged Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (www.bigelow.org) to conduct initial growth trials. Bigelow has extensive experience in growing CaCO3-secreting organisms and recommended starting with a particular organism that has a rapid growth rate. The results of the initial experiments are promising and indicate these organisms can be grown at a rate that has the potential to be commercially viable.

Bruce Highway Upgrade- Cooroy to Curra Section D (Gympie Bypass)

Mark Asang

Project Director, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is about to deliver the final section of the 61km Bruce Highway upgrade between Cooroy and Curra, planning of which started in 2004 and construction in 2009. So far over 30km of new four lane highway has been built on a mostly new alignment between Cooroy and Woondum. The final 26km Section D (C2CD) project will kick of mid-2020 and take up to five years to construct.

The project team would like to share some key learnings from such a large program of works delivered concurrently, including innovations and key achievements like:

  • How completing large programs of work like Cooroy to Curra ensures that the initial benefits identified during early planning are actually realised
  • Procurement using the TIC-CO three stage tender process involving Guided Tender Alternative proposals undertaken during the global pandemic (what did and didn’t work)
  • Bypassing the city of Gympie and how TMR has worked with the community and the local council to promote acceptance and participation in the project
  • Innovations, including:
    • Construction and communications methods
    • Securing water for delivery in case of drought
    • Achieving a signed Cultural Heritage Management Plan which includes the project specific Capacity Building Program for the Kabi Kabi peoples
    • -Koala Management Plan utilising thermal drone technology.

Rainfall radar and hydrology

Urs Baeumer
Project Director (Cooroy to Curra – Section D), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Dereck Sanderson
Regional Director (Southern Queensland), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Industry’s current practice in developing flow estimations is to calibrate hydrologic models against recorded rainfall and recorded streamflow data. A downfall of this approach is that historic rainfall is only captured at rainfall stations and not over the entire catchment. An innovative approach is to use the gridded precipitation estimates based on rainfall radar which is provided by the Bureau of Meteorology as part of their Rainfields product.

Following the 2019 severe weather event in North Queensland which damaged the Alice River bridge on Hervey Range Road, west of Townsville, the Department of Transport and Main Roads undertook a case study to assess the suitability of the available Rainfields data. This presentation will provide insights into the potential and suitability of current rainfall radar products in hydrologic assessments.

New Hydraulic Loss Model for Bridge Decks

Urs Baeumer
Manager, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Bill Syme
TUFLOW Products Lead, BMT

Many bridge decks become partially or completely submerged during significant rain events, increasing water levels and flood extents upstream of the structure. Traditional flood modelling methods to determine the increase in water levels (afflux) use an empirical energy loss factor, usually as a function of upstream and/or downstream water levels. However, there is a level of uncertainty within industry as to the best approach and the input parameters to use.

To better understand this problem, simple deck structures were investigated numerically, by means of computational fluid mechanics (CFD), to determine loss coefficients. The energy loss factor as a function of water level was found to fit a simple function that could be parametrised according to the basic bridge dimensions. A new parametric formulation has subsequently been integrated into the commercial 2-dimensional hydraulic software TUFLOW HPC. Improvements to the representation of bridges in flood models will reduce the uncertainty of hydraulic model results and ultimately lead to better bridge designs.

Mobility as a Service

Ishra Baksh
Executive Director Mobility as a Service, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) is an evolving and topical concept emerging around the world in the transport industry. MaaS embodies a shift away from personally owned modes of transport, towards aggregated mobility solutions that are consumed as a service. It’s the combination of public and private transport services accessed via an application which provides personalised journey planning, booking and payment. So that’s what it is… but how does it work in practice and what is the Department of Transport and Main Roads doing in the space to shape the future of transport in Queensland? These questions and more will be explored within this presentation.

Embracing uncertainty in project evaluation

David Balfe
State Director (QLD), Veitch Lister Consulting

Every year, decision-makers invest billions of dollars into transport infrastructure projects designed to accommodate future decades of travel demand growth. The business cases which support these decisions include forecasts of demand which are increasingly uncertain given impending technological changes. Automated vehicles, electric cars, Mobility as a Service and other technological and policy futures may have a major impact on the validity of demand forecasts.

Demand forecasting tools rely on observed behaviours to inform their forecasts, so relying on these tools to forecast a future of changed behaviours is unreliable. How then, can we make robust decisions in the face of so much uncertainty? The answer is to move away from a ‘single-future’ model of assessment and toward an approach which embraces the range of uncertainty.

In partnership with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Veitch Lister Consulting (VLC) has developed an approach which:

  • Implements the key expected impacts of technological changes in travel demand models
  • Sources assumptions about the scale of impacts and their likelihood of occurring from a panel of TMR’s expert staff
  • Applies probability-based analysis to provide a ‘cloud’ of likely project benefit outcomes, rather than a single benefit forecast
  • Exposes and documents the forecasting methodology, assumptions, and benefit assessment framework for future application and improvement by others
  • Allows projects to leverage the work of previous assessments, reducing the cost of assessing multiple futures.

This project is the first step toward an improved benefit assessment methodology for infrastructure projects, with the ultimate aim of improving TMR’s project assessments and potentially informing national practice.

Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade Project, Smart Solutions to Answer the Bruce Highway Flood Challenge

Aida Bartels
Associate Principal, Arup and Structures Lead Arup & HDR Joint Venture (AHJV)

Tina O’Connell
Principal Engineer, Hydrology & Hydraulics, Arup & HDR Joint Venture (AHJV)

Floods are a fact of life in North Queensland. The safety and connectivity of the community during floods is paramount, and the development of reliable yet cost-effective new infrastructure is crucial. This case study discusses the design solutions introduced to replace a series of waterway crossings and effectively reduce the flood vulnerability of the Bruce Highway across the Haughton River floodplain, south of Townsville.

Arup & HDR Joint Venture (AHJV) delivered the design for the vital upgrade along 13.5km of the Bruce Highway. The design delivered savings of taxpayer dollars and construction time, while reducing impact upon the environment, and meeting the flooding challenge in this complex floodplain. AHJV reduced the number and length of bridges from 16 bridges totalling 3km during the reference design down to just 7 bridges totalling 830m during detailed design. Innovative engineering included the first use of tubular steel piles to meet the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) MRTS64 and is the first TMR project of this scale to use the prestressed precast driven piles designed and detailed for earthquake category BDEC2. The project is currently being delivered by The Infrastructure Group (TIG), a joint venture between BMD, Bielby, JF Hull and Albem on behalf of TMR, with completion expected in mid-2021.

The presentation will cover an overview of the structural solutions on the project, the main focus being 7 bridge sites (4 floodway bridges, 2 overpasses, and Haughton River Bridge), unusual aspects of the pile designs, complementary 2D flood modelling for impact assessment at adjacent properties and abutment/pier scour design, and also touch on the use of full BIM and digital innovation to aid both TMR review and TIG construction.

NBB Stage 4 – How design innovation has enabled smart, socially responsible infrastructure

Thomas Bergmann
Principal Civil Engineer, BG&E Pty Limited

The North Brisbane Bikeway (NBB) is a critical cycle corridor for greater Brisbane, connecting Brisbane’s CBD to Windsor, Wooloowin and through to Chermside. The project is being delivered in partnership with Brisbane City Council, and will encourage more cycling, more often, across all ages.

BG&E have been engaged by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to carry out the detailed design of Stage 4 of this project. The project has provided the team with the exciting and challenging question of how a safe, cost effective and value for money active transport route can be provided through a highly developed urban area without significantly impacting the existing road network’s level of service.

The presentation will focus on:

  • The different needs of cyclists and pedestrians and how the NBB Stage 4 design has catered for each
  • The importance of cycle by design site visits
  • The overall functionality of the design – how pedestrians and cyclists are catered for without impacting the existing roadways functionality – saving costs and reducing stakeholder impacts
  • Lessons learnt regarding the design of priority cycle crossings (vehicle storage, design detailing, constructability)
  • The impact of existing pedestrian underpass on the design and how these impacts were mitigated
  • Construction phase feedback
  • Understanding the benefits of the project, including encouraging more cycling and walking across all ages and abilities, which in turn will mean fewer cars on the road
  • Key learnings for future stages of the bikeway

Quantity Take Off Using Building Information Modelling

Jacqui Berry
Senior Civil Engineer, WSP

Damian McAuliffe
Senior Civil Technologist, WSP

Creating an accurate bill of quantities is an essential component to any construction project. Getting it wrong can lead to expensive variations and lengthy delays. The project team on the Bruce Highway Interchange Upgrade—Maroochydore Road and Mons Road project used a combination of 12d Model and Autodesk Navisworks for quantities derivation.

The road design model for the project was developed as a digital model to a BIM accuracy Level of Development (LOD) 300. The modelling was detailed down to individual pavement layers in 12d. The final modelling produced an ‘issue for construction’ model containing information-rich three dimensional (3D) objects. The 3D objects contained key information relating to object properties such as name, length and volume. They also contained Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) standard item descriptions based on TMR’s standard specifications and schedules, which is reflected in their 3PCM system.

Navisworks was used to enable the project engineers to explore the information rich exports of the 12d model and gain immediate feedback through querying elements that formed part of the design. The 3D model was ported from 12d Model to Navisworks via a BIM standard Industry Foundation Class (IFC) file. Quantities were directly derived from a federated Navisworks model resulting in a reduction in errors commonly seen in quantity take-off, and reduced time spent on manual calculations.

The use of Navisworks allowed visual confirmation that a component had been accounted for and that the volume reported was realistic. A Navisworks Model Template was developed using TMR standard item numbers and descriptions, which were embedded in the 3D objects within the 12d model. This allowed the team to undertake bulk extraction of quantities from Navisworks, exported in Microsoft Excel format which then fed directly into TMR’s 3PCM import template for upload to the 3PCM system.

Let’s cooperate – C-ITS in TMR and why location is critical to it

Nick Brook
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Justin White
Principal Advisor, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Drawing on lessons learned from the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot, Connected Vehicle Safety Cloud project and Cooperative and Highly Automated Driving project, this presentation will highlight the need for accurate, reliable, timely spatial data to enable Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). It will describe some of the issues identified and solutions adopted by the projects before highlighting what is required from a spatial data perspective for the Department of Transport and Main Roads to sustainably deliver C-ITS capability. Finally, it will discuss industry technology directions and government initiatives in this area that will help to address these issues.

Video Analytics to Predict Crash Risk

Andrew Burbridge
Principal Engineer (Safer Roads), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Currently, high crash risk locations are identified based on observable crash history at that location, with limited options to assess risk apart from this. It would be preferable to identify problematic locations before any crashes occur and it is expected that assessing near misses would be a way to achieve this. The purpose of this project was to investigate the usefulness of an alternative tool to provide an efficient method of quantifying and locating near-misses with a view to using this information as a surrogate to proactively assess risk in-lieu of crash history.

The main objectives of the project were to:

  • undertake video capture at various sites
  • analyse data obtained from commissioned video and existing video, and
  • assess the suitability of the tool for future use or for other applications.

Analysis was undertaken at four sites. It is expected that the future use of this approach will enable relatively rapid before-and-after studies of, for example, upgrade projects or modified traffic conditions, particularly at locations such as intersections where conflicts between road-users are expected. The diagnosis of problem sites may be improved by having detailed information on road user behaviour and the interactions between road users. It is considered that this approach will allow problematic locations to be identified and diagnosed before having to wait for significant crashes to be observed. This will also improve safety and reduce costs to the community.

Transformative Ticketing – Delivering the State’s First Integrated System

Sarah Capstick
Project Director (Strategy & Customer Transition), Department of Transport and Main Roads

In 2018, the Department of Transport and Main Roads embarked on a journey to deliver one of the most advanced public transport ticketing systems in the world, and has continued this pursuit through the COVID-19 pandemic. The $371 million Smart Ticketing project is bringing a secure, digital account-based solution to metropolitan and regional Queensland, with more contactless ways to pay and new ways to plan travel, underpinned by real-time service information. In this presentation, Sarah Capstick will explore how this transformative project is using innovation to meet the expectations of more than 50 operators, hundreds of stakeholders and millions of customers.

North Queensland Stadium Transport & Access Strategy: A Game Changer for QLD’s largest regional centre.

Tim Channell
Senior Planner, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Glen Warner
Planning Manager, Department of Transport and Main Roads

This paper about the North Queensland Stadium Transport and Access Strategy discusses:

  • Background, context and evolution to investment
    • rationale for government decision for new stadium
    • summary of strategic planning involved
    • breadth of government input to achieve final outcomes from planning to delivery
  • Policy setting and objectives
    • Not just a stadium
    • Marque project under Australia’s first ‘City Deal’ to stimulate economic growth and promote urban renewal
    • Encourage travel behaviour changes and transport diversity
  • Key challenges and opportunities relating to the stadium moving from the outer suburbs to the CBD
    • no on-site parking and council requirement for large restricted parking precinct
    • low public transport mode share and capacity in Townsville
    • events during afternoon peak
    • road and rail safety
    • lack of necessary infrastructure
    • complex governance and competing/complimentary processes (government committees, development assessment)
    • stakeholder needs/desires
    • complete philosophical shift and cultural change for travel and access
    • time and funding constraints
    • substantial public exposure
  • Strategy Overview

Queue Detection/Queue Protection Automated Trial

Anna Clancy
Principal Engineer (traffic), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Queue Detection (QD) and Queue Protection (QP) algorithms are two independent software modules within STREAMS that operate in tandem on sections of motorway which are equipped with both vehicle detector loops and Variable Speed Limit Signs (VSLS).

When both QP and QD are operating together on a section of smart motorway, QD will detect the presence of a queue and QP will reduce the displayed speed limit on the VSLS to minimise the potential for conflict within and at the tail of the queue. This improves safety and indirectly improves network performance as a result of fewer or less severe vehicle crashes. 

The expected benefits of the automated trial included:

  • Improved credibility of VSL response – as the response is in the field as quickly as the queue is present
  • Reduced TMC Operator workload – no operator reviews or approval steps required
  • Improved back of queue protection – few motorists approach a back of queue without witnessing a reduced speed limit on their approach
  • A faster response time – without an approval step the response is faster
  • Resolution of an existing STREAMS defect with respect to unacknowledged queues merging and approved responses clearing, and
  • Further optimisation opportunities to fine tune the algorithm as the merging defect is bypassed allowing further optimisation work to be undertaken.

Engineering, Innovation, and Technology as the cornerstone of human connection and relationships

Kevin Cocks
Executive General Manager, Department of Transport and Main Roads

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman and child seek equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”. Eleanor Roosevelt. As the chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Eleanor Roosevelt was the driving force in creating the 1948 charter of liberties which will always be her legacy: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s about everyone having dignity, free from discrimination and equal opportunity.

Every discipline should be about the improvement of human life in the developing egalitarian world. As engineers your perceived role stereotypes are designing and building important stuff, sticking to the compliance checklists while wearing the appropriate safety gear. But, in reality, an engineer’s role is about designing and building precincts that connect people to move freely in environments, to critical services and facilities (schools, medical, recreation, work, shopping). As engineers, you are actively contributing to someone’s human rights, to have a right to life, freedom of movement, religion and belief, freedom of expression, taking part in public life, protection of families and children, cultural rights, education and health services. You are empowering people to be safe, welcome and connected in this world. You are the facilitators of dignified experiences for all.

So – how do we move from the inaccessible Aztec pyramids (not diminishing the mastery of architecture and engineering of the Aztecs) to most accessible Fjords Ferries. This panel session will focus on the TMR Accessibility and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan, universal design, functional versus compliant design from planning procurement to delivery, maintenance, and the underpinning motivators of it all; human connection and dignity. Together how can we future-proof our network and services…and deliver a single integrated transport network accessible to everyone.

SBP – Revised Functionality through innovation and collaboration to achieve better community outcomes

Stuart Cook
QLD Transport Lead, BG&E Pty Limited

Mark Biffin
Civil Engineer, HDR

The Captain Cook Highway — Smithfield Bypass project will construct a new 3.8km road between McGregor Road roundabout and the Cairns Western Arterial Road (CWAR) and Captain Cook Highway (CCH) as an alternative route to the Captain Cook Highway. The Project value is $164 million and is being delivered under an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contract by a Highways Albem Joint Venture (HAJV) with a BG&E HDR (BHJV) Joint Venture engaged to produce the detailed design.

One of the key objectives of the project is to reduce congestion through Smithfield by taking traffic out of the town centre and bypassing the Caravonica Roundabout. During Stage 1 of the ECI process a reference design was provided to HAJV that solved some of the congestion problems in Smithfield but did not capture CWAR traffic and required a large element of works that would become redundant in the future. During the Stage 1 process HAJV, working closely with their designers BHJV and in close consultation with the Department of Transport and Main Roads developed an alternate design that improved traffic benefits through Smithfield, captured CWAR traffic and eliminated the need for construction of infrastructure not required in the future.

During Stage 2 of the project this alternate was progressed, approved and construction is now well underway. The presentation will provide a case study on:

  • The development of the initial alternate
  • The benefits realised
  • The process the team went through to have the alternate approved
  • The design journey and the final approved solution

The intention of this presentation is to highlight the opportunities available if an initial concept is challenged and the highly collaborative process required to implement the change, should it be adopted.

Bridge culvert design automation tool. Bringing bridges & structures design closer to reliable AI

View Presentation

Thomas Cooper
National Executive, WSP

The transformation of the design and construction industry to one of digital industry is upon us, and the benefits of design automation are considerable. While the use of BIM and parametric 

modeling has steadily gained momentum in many global regions, the extension of these tools to automated design and eventually artificial intelligence (AI) in design is a natural progression. 

WSP’s Bridge Culvert Design Automation Tool is a leading-edge application that significantly automates the bridges and structures design process, bringing us closer to reliable AI in design. It 

packages the approach to design, model and plan development into one tool. Utilisation of the tool reduces risk of errors, accelerates schedules, lowers overall cost, enables feasible set-based design flexibility throughout the project timeline, and enables integrated work process with collaborators such as architects.  

This culvert design automation project provides an achievable starting point in design automation  tools. The main objectives for this project are to create a high level of automation culvert product to be used in multiple regions, develop a process framework for collaborating internationally on a common project, and form a structure for global product management for this and future automation projects.

In this paper we will discuss the development of this tool for use in regions across the globe, including Australia and how this approach to structure design can be applied to other infrastructure elements such as bridges, tunnels and walls.

Flexible Chevron Alignment Markers

Daniel Craig
Engineer, Department Of Transport And Main Roads

During the period 2014-2018, there were at least two fatalities and two hospitalisations resulting from motorcyclists impacting roadside chevron alignment markers (CAMs) on curves. This crash history has highlighted an opportunity for improvement in the safety of our roadside infrastructure in line with the safe system principles.

In response, a project was initiated with the objective of developing a frangible alternative to the existing CAM design that would result in reduced crash severity when impacted by an errant motorcyclist. Achieving this objective would contribute to the 2011-2020 National Road Safety Strategy target of a 30 per cent reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes from the 2008-2010 baseline.

Testing of several alternative CAM signs has occurred at the Roads and Maritime Services Crashlab in New South Wales (NSW). This testing has demonstrated a significant reduction in the impact severity criteria for a motorcyclist; and has produced a cost-effective alternative design that can withstand multiple impacts without the need for replacement, and can return to a vertical position shortly after impact.

Crash testing of the finalised design indicated an average reduction of 67 per cent across all measured impact criteria compared to the baseline test. This indicated an impact with a significant chance of survival for the motorcyclist and demonstrated the sign’s ability to return to its vertical position post impact. Whilst ongoing refinement is being made to the design to improve wind resistance, it is expected to have lower installation and ongoing costs compared to alternative flexible products.

Identification of Advanced Driver Assisted Systems (ADAS) for Regulation to avoid crashes

Brittany Croft

Senior Mechanical Engineer, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB)

With an aim to reduce the number of lives lost on Victoria’s roads, this project aimed to accelerate regulation of advanced safety systems in vehicles. Undertaken by the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) in partnership with the Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) from the University of Adelaide, the project identified safety features that are suitable for regulation–based on their potential to avoid crashes, save lives and reduce the severity of road trauma.

The project team analysed the safety features in the vehicles that are considered most suitable candidates for consideration into Australian vehicle regulation. Vehicle regulations can increase the fitting of new and emerging vehicle safety technologies in the new vehicle fleet and, ultimately, in the registered vehicle fleet. The core objective of this project was to identify vehicle safety features that are appropriate candidates for future regulation in Australia. Recommendations are made on the prioritisation of the technologies, based on their potential to avoid/reduce the risk of fatal and serious injury crashes as well as their ease of implementation.

The objectives of the project were to:

  • identify existing and emerging vehicle safety features for passenger vehicles, light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles
  • analyse recent and future developments of regulations internationally and within Australia
  • analyse market trends and penetration of safety technology
  • measure the potential to avoid crashes, save lives and reduce the severity of road trauma for each safety feature
  • gather stakeholder feedback and analyse their perception to technologies, and
  • prioritise vehicle safety features for regulation harmonisation consideration, based on estimated effectiveness and ease of implementation.

The Queensland Walking Strategy

Robyn Davies
Manager (cycling And Walking), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) vision is for a single, integrated transport system accessible to everyone. To deliver on this vision means that we must develop a deeper understanding of what it takes for people of all abilities to access our transport networks, and the built environment more generally. The Queensland Walking Strategy contributes to this vision. The objective of the paper is to share learnings about the implementation and impact of a significant new active transport strategy.

TMR led the development of the Queensland Government’s first walking strategy. The Queensland Walking Strategy 2019–2029 (QWS) provides the vision, themes, principles, action areas and investment framework to support walking and improve local environments to make walking an easy choice, every day. It is accompanied by a two-year Action Plan for Walking 2019–2021 and the Walking in Queensland Report 2019 which provides a baseline for monitoring progress. When we talk about walking, we also mean moving with the aid of a mobility device such as a wheelchair or cane.

In 2017, the Queensland Government committed to deliver the state’s first walking strategy and invest $2.5 million over three years in walking initiatives. To be successful, the strategy had to clearly define the state’s role in walking as well as support and guide local government action on walking. The strategy also needed to strongly reflect community views on walking. The strategy has been informed by extensive engagement across government and with the community using a wide range of engagement tools including a walking summit. Engagement across local and state government included surveys and face-to-face workshopping. State government agencies also had an active role in the community summit to ensure they heard the community’s voice.

This presentation will provide an overview of the strategy, key actions, and take the audience through what Queenslanders told us, how we’ve translated that into a strategy and first two-year action plan, and the main implementation successes.

Development of sustainable binders fitting existing specifications

Erik Denneman
Global Technical Manager, Puma Energy

Tyre derived crumb rubber has been used as an elastomeric modifier for bitumen in Australia since the 1950s. Over the past years there has been a resurgence of interest in crumb rubber technology for use in roads, stemming from the need to recycle waste tyres. A number of initiatives are underway in Australia to increase the use of rubber in both sprayed seals and asphalt. This paper presents the development of a new generation of binders that contain both crumb rubber and SBS and comply with the existing Austroads polymer modified binder (PMB) specifications. The elastic properties of the rubber and SBS in hybrid form can create binders that are equivalent to conventional A10E, A15E and A20E grade PMBs.

The experimental work described in the paper includes binder testing, performance testing on asphalt and the outcomes of the first construction trials using crumb rubber A20E in stone mastic asphalt. The paper further describes the experiences and observations from the first full scale application of the product in Queensland and other states. The results indicate that the hybrid crumb rubber/SBS binders can be used in asphalt as direct substitution for conventional standard PMB grades.

Case study of Audio Tactile Line Marking (ATLM) on Pacific Motorway (M1)

Sagar Dhamala
Civil Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Khriston Murphy
New Works Manager, Ventia Pty Ltd

Roadway departures on the Pacific Motorway (M1) result in repairs to road safety barriers costing millions of dollars annually. In 2017/2018, less than 30% of impacts yielded sufficient information to enable the Department of Transport and Main Roads to lodge a damage claim with the driver/insurance company.

South Coast Region has trialled provision of ATLM in two configurations at two separate trial locations. Both have resulted in huge reductions in barrier impacts and reduction in barrier repair costs at these locations. Further, South Coast District has trialled the use of an innovative impact detection mechanism which enables more immediate incident response, resulting in improved opportunity for post-crash care, less disruption to traffic and increased ability to pursue claims against drivers.

This case study will present crash data and crash cost savings at each trial site demonstrating the comparative benefits of ATLM in the two configurations trialled. This case study will also disclose data indicating potential for revenue generation through insurance claims and tracking of unsecured/unprotected drivers from using the impact detection mechanism. Learnings from the trials will be presented, and opportunities for expansion of both treatments to other sites will be discussed.

Sustainable approach to maintaining low trafficked surfaced roads

Trevor Distin
Technical & Marketing Manager, COLAS Australia

The presentation will summarise the technical guidelines published by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) on emerging treatment options for maintaining low trafficked surfaced roads. The guidelines have been developed considering international best practice with adaption to Queensland conditions. Practical guidance on implementing advisory treatments where bicycle traffic and motor vehicle traffic is mixed in low speed (<50kph) and low traffic volume (<6,000 AADT) streets in urban environments is provided. Both treatment types provide advisory facilities for cyclists and can be implemented in association with local area traffic management (LATM) ‘traffic calming’ to facilitate low traffic volumes. The presentation will present the details of when to implement, describe design requirements and document some case studies.

Towards the reduction of cutters in spray sealing practices

Trevor Distin
Technical & Marketing Manager, COLAS Australia

While most developed countries have moved away from cutting back hot binders with kerosene to construct spray seals, it is still common practice in Australia. The continuation of this practice raises concerns about potential hazards which could result in incidents causing harm to people from explosions and the emission of volatile vapours into the atmosphere.

The primary reason for cutting back hot binders is to reduce their viscosity on a temporary basis to:

  • Allow uniform lateral dispersion of modified binders during spraying to prevent tramlining,
  • Assist with the binder ‘wetting’ the cover aggregate during spreading when the pavement temperatures are lower,
  • Prevent brittle fracture with the onset of lower overnight temperatures which can result in aggregate whip off under traffic.

On the other hand, the presence of cutter entrapment in the binder can lead to flushing during high surface temperatures under heavy traffic in summer. The increase in the traffic density on our spray seal network has led to a reduction the amount of cutter that is used compared to past years to mitigate against the occurrence of flushing.

This paper will look at practices which can be used to eliminate the use of cutters to construct spray seals which have been implemented in Australia by the COLAS Group. These include:

  • Establishing boundaries when cutting back of hot binders is not necessary to construct spray seals
  • Use of the OB Vario syncronised sprayer which simultaneously sprays the binder and applies the cover aggregate
  • The spraying of low viscosity S45R crumb rubber binder without cutters
  • The use of a second spray bar to spray a breaking agent onto bitumen emulsion to accelerate the cohesion development so the seal can be opened to traffic earlier than conventional emulsions
  • The construction of Cape Seals using a single seal and one application of microsurfacing
  • The construction of triple seals and the application of emulsion fog sprays to eliminate stone whip off under traffic
  • The replacement of kerosene with bio oils in emulsions for use in priming granular base courses.
  • It is hoped that the above initiatives will provide the industry with confidence to consider moving toward practices which will lead to the elimination of cutters in spray sealing practices.

Turning waste into secondary raw materials for high performance asphalt

Trevor Distin
Technical & Marketing Manager, COLAS Australia

This paper will discuss how to improve the sustainability of asphalt by re-using processed secondary waste materials, reducing the energy demand, and improving its service life.

Every year Australia consumes approximately 10 million tonnes of raw materials to produce asphalt for constructing and maintaining flexible pavements. These raw materials comprise mainly non-renewable crushed aggregates, natural sand, hydrated lime, imported bitumen and polymers. In the interests of improving the sustainability of asphalt, this paper will look at measures to reduce the demand on non-renewable raw materials by substituting them with waste converted into secondary raw materials. The focus will be on using local secondary raw materials from waste with proven track records of performance to extend the service life of asphalt. This includes the reuse of:

  • Reclaimed asphalt pavement as a bituminous binder and aggregate replacement
  • Rubber from end of life truck tyres as a bitumen and polymer substitute
  • Recycled crushed glass as a natural sand replacement
  • Blast furnace steel slag as an aggregate replacement
  • Fly ash from coal burning electricity plants as a filler
  • Recycled plastic as a bitumen modifier

The paper will review the availability of these secondary raw materials and their increasing demand for use in asphalt, thereby identifying potential gaps in supply. When using these materials consideration is also given to HSE hazards, end of life recyclability, cost effectiveness and performance of the recycled asphalt. The re-use of these waste materials also means the reduction in waste going to landfills and helps preserve our scarce virgin materials for future use.

The paper will also discuss reducing the demand for energy and generation of greenhouse gasses by reducing the asphalt mixing temperatures and replacing hydrated lime with liquid adhesion agents to reduce the carbon footprint of asphalt without compromising the performance of asphalt.

Sustainability Assessment Tool

View Presentation

Louise Dutton
Principal Environmental Officer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Brook Hall
Principal Professional – Sustainability and Resilience, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB)

New pavement technologies provide an opportunity to use or increase the use of recycled and innovative materials in road construction and maintenance. Typically new pavement designs are tending to have a lower embodied carbon content (i.e. release less greenhouse gases over the pavement’s lifecycle), compared to standard pavement designs that use virgin materials. Some new technologies also require less construction materials (reduced layer thicknesses), offer improved pavement performance and lifecycle cost savings.

Pavement engineers do not currently have adequate tools to concurrently evaluate the economic and environmental sustainability impacts of innovative road pavement technologies. Existing standards, specifications and processes do not necessarily allow for, or adequately encourage the use of innovative, low-carbon pavement design technologies.

The Pavement Sustainability Assessment Tool has been developed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), and Western Australia Main Roads in partnership with the Australian Road Research Board to enable Road Agencies to:

  • Evaluate the economic and environmental sustainability impacts of innovative road pavement technologies
  • Compare lifecycle emissions and costs against traditional road technologies
  • Quantify sustainability outcomes aligned with government sustainability targets and value for money indicators
  • Make smarter procurement decisions regarding material selection, design and long-term maintenance strategy considering pavement lifecycle performance, sustainability and cost.

These evaluation outcomes will help TMR and other transport infrastructure proponents and designers to inform better decisions regarding road design, material selection, design and long-term maintenance strategy over the pavement lifecycle.

Solving a biological problem with a hydraulic solution

View Presentation

Louise Dutton
Principal Environmental Officer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Darby Johannessen
Senior Professional, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB)

Almost all Queensland fish species need to migrate across catchments during their lifespan. Over 50% of Queensland fish species biologically need to migrate between freshwater and saltwater during their lifecycle. Drivers for these mass migrations vary from reproduction, cyclical drying habitat, and scarcity of food sources. The survival of individuals depends on migration as does the survival of the broader fish community.

The transport network of state and local roads and rail transect catchments and waterways across Queensland. Fish are required to pass through drainage structures installed across the waterways in order to migrate along the catchment. Drainage structures, in particular culverts, are designed to provide effective and efficient transmission of water to prevent afflux. This design requirement focuses on the hydraulic capacity of the culverts for specific design events, normally infrequent larger events. This results in the creation of barriers to fish passage as velocities commonly exceed the swimming ability of fish.

For over a decade, the velocity barriers have been addressed by the legislative requirement to install full height baffles along box culvert walls. However, the performance of the baffles in achieving fish passage have not been monitored or assessed. Furthermore, the impact of the baffles on hydraulic efficiency of the culverts has not been assessed and there is no current method for accounting for the impact of baffles on the hydraulic efficiency of the culvert.

This project aimed at identifying the hydraulic conditions required for successful fish passage and the development of a hydraulic design specification to achieve win-win outcomes for hydraulic efficiency for flood events and effective fish passage for regular flow events.

Improved management of dispersive and slaking soils in Queensland

View Presentation

Louise Dutton
Principal Environmental Officer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Dispersive soils (commonly referred to as sodic soils) occur across over 45% of Queensland’s landscape soils. These soils are highly vulnerable to erosion when exposed to water and can cause extensive sub-surface damage if they are not identified and treated. Slaking soils also occur throughout the Queensland landscape and–where exposed in cuttings–can result in extensive soil loss, especially when they occur with dispersive soils.

Exposure of these soils as part of transport infrastructure construction can cause significant risks to asset integrity, maintenance requirements and environmental impacts if they are not managed appropriately. The National Asset Centre of Excellence (NACoE) has undertaken a literature review and gap analysis of current Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) practice to identify opportunities for improving processes for identification and management of dispersive and slaking soils in Queensland.

Soil testing is a low-cost measure for early detection of soil risks which facilitates the ability to mitigate against major cost and environmental impacts through road planning and design. The project developed amendments to TMR’s operating guidance and specifications to ensure that soils are tested and risks are managed as business as usual throughout the planning, delivery and maintenance of road projects. The project has also stimulated greater awareness and understanding of soil management testing, issues and treatments and facilitated engagement across TMR’s business units and with industry.

The implementation of project outcomes will improve the consistency and quality of guidance that will improve infrastructure design in problem soils, provide clarity to contractors on management requirements, avoid remedial works, reduce asset failures and minimise environmental impact.

Mobility and Place in Queensland

David Farndon
A/Manager Transport Policy, Department of Transport and Main Roads

There is an increasing awareness in transport agencies across Australia that our streets and transport corridors provide for the movement of goods and people as well as being essential places for everyday living. Balancing these two functions is important for creating attractive and healthy places, with productive economies and liveable neighbourhoods that are not isolated or severed from the services that enable them to flourish.

In Queensland, the need to balance both movement and place is of growing importance. Our population is expected to grow by over 2 million residents by 2041, and we face increasing residential densities and the potential increase in demand for transport and public space on our streets. Within the context of the COVID pandemic, placemaking has also become even more important as people are currently choosing to work from or closer to home, encouraging the adoption of a more local lifestyle.

Recognising the challenges and opportunities that this presents, the Department of Transport and Main Roads is exploring ‘Movement and Place’ to improve placemaking within the context of Queensland’s transport network. This presentation will provide the principles that will underpin Queensland’s Movement and Place approach, exploring the social, economic and environmental functions of our transport network and how we can plan for a more sustainable and liveable Queensland.

Value adding within budget rather than scope reduction to achieve budget

Patrick Feeney
Principal Engineer, Department Of Transport And Main Roads

Stuart Cook
Civil Transport lead, Department Of Transport And Main Roads

The $75 million Mount Lindesay Highway-Stoney Camp Road to Chambers Flat Road Project (MLH-SC2CF) is funded 50:50 between the state and federal governments. The project provides a 4km duplication of the existing Mount Lindesay Highway, two new bridges over Norris Creek, improved road user safety, and improved fauna connectivity and protection.

During the value engineering phase of the project, a key concept was value adding within budget and not scope reduction to achieve budget. Additional scope including replacement of aging corrugated steel pipe culverts (CSPs) with a new bridge; and 4km of additional pavement reconstruction works were incorporated into the project without exceeding the budget set at business case stage.

This presentation will take the audience through the steps taken in the scope change process and explain how these learnings can be implemented on future projects. Topics covered will include:

  • early identification of potential value add scope inclusions
  • how the preliminary design was fast-tracked to ensure an early and accurate understanding of costs
  • the significant cost savings achieved by using foamed modified bitumen (FMB) pavement, why this project was so well suited to the use of FMB and how these learnings can be transferred to your next project
  • the challenging of past assumptions and flood modelling that enabled the 35m long bridge specified in the previous phase to be shorted by 15m and the existing CSP culverts to be replaced with a new bridge
  • the geometric design modifications that changed the business case alignment, enabling large cost savings without detracting from any of the broader project objectives.

The goal of this presentation is to present the audience with the processes followed and innovative engineering concepts explored that enabled additional value to be added to the project without exceeding the business case budget estimate.

Vessel Traffic Service Decision Support Tool

Daniel Frost
Principal Manager (Vessel Traffic Services), Maritime Safety Queensland

The protection of the Great Barrier Reef is one of the Queensland Government’s most important objectives for the community. It is also essential for Queensland’s $81.7 billion (ABARE 2018) export economy that shipping routes through the Great Barrier Reef remain open on an equitable and environmentally sustainable basis.

Instrumented full-scale pavement sections on weak subgrade to investigate the performance of geogrid/geocomposite stabilised subgrade pavements

Chaminda Gallage
Senior Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology

This research study aims at evaluating the benefits of using geogrid/geocomposite to reinforce/ stabilise weak subgrade in pavements. For this purpose, a total of nine 14m long instrumented sections were constructed a lane of a road. This is the first such full-scale instrumented test in Australia to investigate the performance of geogrid stabilised subgrade pavements.

Three sections were constructed by placing composite geogrid at the top of the subgrade and covering with the subbase layer (Crush rock type 2.1) thickness of 200mm, 250mm, and 350mm, respectively. Another three similar sections were constructed without geogrid as control sections. Two more sections were constructed with a 350mm thick subbase layer placing a geocomposite at the middle of subbase layer and a geocomposite at the top of the subgrade and a geogrid at the middle of the subbase layer, respectively. The last section was constructed with a subbase layer of 300 mm thickness and placing the geogrid at the middle of the subbase layer. A 50mm thickness of Asphalt layer was placed on the top of all nine sections.

Each section was instrumented with two earth pressure cells (top of the subgrade layer), two moisture content sensors (subgrade and subbase layer), and strain gauges on geocomposite. All sensors were connected with a data logger installed at the site. The subgrade of each section was fully investigated with core sampling, LFWD, DCP, and Clegg hammer, and nuclear density gauge. The compaction of subbase layer and asphalt layer were done by using an intelligent compactor which can identify the variation of the stiffness/modulus of sections. Further, FWD tests were conducted on the top of subbase layer and the top of the asphalt layer of each section. In this study, the results of these tests are be used to estimate the increase in modulus of geogrid/geocomposit stabilised subgrade/pavement.

East and West Creek culvert replacement

View Presentation

Adam Garvin
Manager (Delivery and Operations), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Recently, Darling Downs District successfully completed two large culvert replacement projects in the Toowoomba city centre on James Street. At first you may think a couple of culvert replacements should not be a significant challenge. However, it quickly becomes a more complex project when doing this on one of the busiest roads in Toowoomba, at the commencement of a COVID pandemic, while interacting with underground services and finding some large cultural heritage items.

For the project team this was an exercise in detailed planning, negotiation, being flexible and thinking outside the box. Close working relationships between the Department of Transport and Main Roads, local government and the heavy vehicle industry were critical to ensure success. Detours, changing heavy vehicle routes, modifying signals and roundabouts were all part of the work to be planned.

In addition, engaging with the broader community was essential–especially with our emergency services, who were also planning for a worst-case scenario of a COVID outbreak. Negotiating a project commencement date was essential to ensure access to the Toowoomba Base Hospital (as the nominated COVID hospital) could be assured. Once all of the potential access issues were fully addressed, work could begin.

Once under way, the usual challenges of underground services in an urban environment were present. What was not expected was the uncovering of several previous structures from as early as the 1800’s, as well as personal items from the period. These historical items had been hidden away under the old culvert structure which had preserved the wonders beneath the surface. This find resulted in a substantial cultural heritage process and impacted the project in terms of budget and time frame for completion.

Automated AusRAP Data Collection

Michael Gillies
Manager (Safer Roads), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Wahi Rabbani
Safer Roads Infrustructure, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Automatic assessment of road safety and conditions is essential for improving road infrastructure and reducing fatalities on the roads. The current manual systems for collecting road attributes and roadside features for road safety purposes not only in Australia but around the world are expensive and prone to potential human error.

Automation of the extraction of road attributes from DVR using advanced image analysis, and cross-validation with other data sources such as MLS, has the potential to provide a range of value-added products consistently and inexpensively. This includes: K115

  • road condition (e.g. deflection, cracking, rutting)
  • road safety (e.g. selected Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) attributes and iRAP star rating compliance)
  • environmental (e.g. fire risk and vegetation encroachment), and
  • improved obstacle clearance estimates (e.g. overhead wires, roadside hazards, heavy vehicle widths).

The major challenges are how to accurately detect, segment and classify all road objects and also calculate the distance between objects. Deep learning with a recent breakthrough has the ability to address such major challenges. The Department of Transport and Main Roads, working with Central Queensland University and Australian Road Research Board (ARRB), has developed models, using algorithms to measure performance, to automatically identify AusRAP attributes/objects such as signs, poles and lane width, and have developed a software system to apply this to the state-wide network.

Queensland Digital Licence

Chris Goh
General Manager, CORAL Program, Department of Transport and Main Roads

This presentation gives an overview of the technology behind development of the Queensland Digital Licence App, working in partnership with Thales, Code Heroes and Aliva. It includes details about the co-design and systems architecture, plus the interface with the Department of Transport and Main Roads’  Transport Registration and Integrated Licensing System (TRAILS).

Review of rating curves to improve design flow estimation in Queensland

Carlos Gonzalez
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Design flow rates for small and medium sized catchments (ranging from 1 to 1000 km2) are necessary for the design of culverts, bridges, causeways and other drainage components of infrastructure projects. Currently, the most widely used approaches in Queensland consist of either empirical methods such as the Rational Method or deterministic methods such as the Quantile Regression Technique (QRT) and the Regional Flood Frequency Estimation (RFFE). While deterministic methods are based on correlations of flood data measured at gauges located throughout Queensland, these techniques have been found to produce unreliable and inconsistent results for various catchments. Water levels at streams in Queensland can be easily measured with the help of a gauge, however measuring flood discharges is challenging due the size, remoteness and geomorphologic characteristics of the state’s vast streams and floodplains, as such only some flood events are measured, and hydrographers often use extrapolated values-based rating curves to estimate the discharges corresponding to recorded levels at streams.

TMR aimed to verify the accuracy of the rating curves calculated for eleven streams located throughout Queensland using two-dimensional hydraulic models, to ultimately improve the reliability of deterministic design flow estimation methods that rely on measured data.

Results from this study demonstrated that two-dimensional models are a cost-effective tool that helps to validate the accuracy of gauge rating curves and can help improve the accuracy of design flows, which ultimately leads to improved, more cost-effective solutions for the design of drainage infrastructure for roads and other linear infrastructure.

Lines save lives: Working towards a high performing line marking standard for Queensland roads

View Presentation

Paul Gottke
Senior Engineer (Safer Roads), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Chris Burgess
Senior Project Manager, Department of Transport and Main Roads

It has long been known that good delineation of roads is inherent to good road safety outcomes, and just like the signage moniker Signs Save Lives, line marking also has its part to play. The MUTCD acknowledges that “a system of clear and effective pavement markings is essential for the proper guidance and control of vehicles and pedestrians”, but historically, line marking has been undertaken using water-based paint which can have sub-standard performance in wet weather, or under heavy wear.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Road Safety Policy, approved by the Director-General in August 2018, includes 13 safety standards to reduce risk of fatal or serious injury crashes. One safety standard promotes that “all new line marking shall be cold applied plastic”.

This presentation will provide background and insights into how Cold Applied Plastic, or CAP, was selected as the preferred high performing line marking product. Further, this presentation will talk about how business areas around TMR are working together to implement CAP line marking.

Arup Inspect 3D – How gaming engines assist in Complex Asset Inspections

Stephen Lynch
Senior Consultant, Advanced Digital Engineering, ARUP

Sam Rech
Senior Engineer, Structures Buildings, ARUP

Conducting asset inspections on complex structures like bridges, stadia and buildings can be difficult when using 2D solutions (such as pen and paper, 2D drawings or 2D photographs). Using game engine technology, Arup have developed a digital asset inspection solution that moves onsite data capture from 2D to 3D.

Using the Jack Pesch bridge in Brisbane as an example, we will step through the stages of the project; from the creation of a 3D model using tablet devices to collect data on-site, through to the 3D outputs our clients receive.

Smart LED Road Lighting Project

Alexander Griffin
Graduate ITS Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Greg O’Dea
Principal Technician (Lighting), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The SLRL (Smart LED Road Lighting) rollout project aims at replacing 35000 TMR owned and maintained High Intensity Discharge (HID) luminaires with LED luminaires and SLC’s (Smart Lighting Controllers) across Queensland.  The project is expected to be the largest Smart Lighting NBIot rollout in the Southern Hemisphere.

The delivery of the major components of the SLRL project involves various teams within TMR, SLC/CMS (Control and Monitoring System) supplier, design consultancies and luminaire suppliers.

This presentation includes procurement details regarding the site packaging process, stakeholder involvement, contract management and project governance.

It will also look at the functionality of the CMS software and how TMR will utilise it for control of its lighting fleet.

Implementation of Intelligent Compaction for asphalt pavements in Queensland

Sam Afkar
Pavement & Asset Principal Engineer, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB)

The flexible pavement industry in Australia is committed to continual improvement of flexible pavement construction outcomes. The use of smart technology in process control and product acceptance can contribute to improving the quality and consistency of delivered product. Intelligent compaction (IC) is a technology developed over the past decades that has now reached a state of maturity that allows it to be applied to asphalt compaction. Internationally, the use of intelligent compaction technology in pavement construction is growing and several US states have implemented IC specifications for asphalt paving.

There are several well documented benefits of intelligent compaction for asphalt. These include:

  • Improved compaction quality and uniformity which will result in cost savings
  • Improved documentation of the compaction process and therefore improved process control records
  • Improved risk management
  • Potential reduction of destructive compliant testing

AfPA (Australian Flexible Pavement Association) is working in collaboration with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and ARRB (Australian Road Research Board) to establish a national specification for IC for asphalt layers. The presentation will provide an update on this project including items emanating from the Brisbane demonstration trial scheduled to be undertaken in April.

Performance related pavement design of EME2 mixes in QLD

Joe Grobler
Principal Professional Leader, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB)

Enrobés à Module Elevé Class 2 (EME2) is an innovative high-modulus asphalt that has exceptionally good fatigue resistance and is an ideal mix type for use in heavy duty asphalt base courses. This high performing material was recently introduced and has already been used on several major road projects in South East Queensland.

However, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) currently designs the thickness of EME2 layers based on the presumptive fatigue relationship recommended in the Austroads Guide to Pavement Technology. This fatigue relationship was originally developed based on laboratory testing of a limited number of conventional asphalt mixes internationally and may not necessarily allow pavement designers to take full advantage of the improved performance that locally manufactured EME2 mixes can provide.

In 2018, the National Asset Centre of Excellence (NACoE), a collaborative research agreement between TMR and the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) started an initiative to characterise the laboratory fatigue performance of locally manufactured EME2 mixes to develop a new presumptive fatigue relationship that could be used by pavement designers in Queensland.

The methodology in TMR Technical Note 167 A New Approach to Asphalt Pavement Design was used to characterise five locally manufactured EME2 asphalt mixes in the laboratory and a new presumptive fatigue relationship was developed and included in the newest edition of TMR’s Pavement Design Supplement.

This presentation will present the new presumptive fatigue relationship developed for EME2 asphalt in Queensland and how Technical Note 167 could be used to develop presumptive relationships based on mix-specific testing for new and innovative asphalt pavements.

Large Span Cantilever LUMS Gantry – Design and Implementation

Haafi Hafreth
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Darren Leeson
Director of Major Projects Northern, Jacobs

Darren Wagstaff
Project Director, Acciona

The M1/M3/Gateway Merge Upgrade (M1M3) was an upgrade of Queensland’s busiest section of motorway. It included the widening of M1 southbound to five lanes between the Gateway Motorway and Rochedale Road and Smart Motorway for M3 and M1 southbound between Kessels Road and Rochedale Road.

M1M3 was delivered through a two-stage Early Contractor Involvement (dECI) procurement process. During Stage 1, Lendlease and Jacobs developed light weight cantilever gantries spanning up to 20 metres, with spans significantly greater than the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) design limit of 9.6 metres. Cantilever gantries had several advantages including minimised impacts to northbound traffic and reduced impacts on shoulder widths. Given the long-term advantages, the team decided to work through the issues and risks associated with large span cantilevers.

A design criteria document was developed to include design standards, performance and design approaches. Of interest was deflection, fatigue, vibration, tolerances and constructability. TMR’s Engineering and Technology branch confirmed the design criteria document, and regularly met with the team during the design development. The team met with steel fabricators to confirm detailing, tolerance allowances, erection methodology and specification. High strength box sections were used at the connection between the column and the cantilever to cater for high stresses at the joint. An independent welding & QA consultant reviewed weld procedures, material certificates, workmanship, weld testing procedures and galvanising quality.

The controlling of sag in the large cantilever arm required strict processes. The risk of deflection of the piles was managed through grouting the anulus. The precambering radius of the cantilever was too large to roll traditionally so the precamber was achieved using heat treatment. For cantilever installation all traffic was stopped for a maximum of 10 minutes. To facilitate this, special procedures were developed to specify the minimum number of bolts required for the temporary stability of the structure before releasing traffic.

Gillies Range Truck Recovery

David Hamilton
Principal Engineer Road Operations, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Traffic Operations in the Far North District Gillies Range Road is one of four primary routes connecting Far North Queensland’s coast line with the Atherton Tablelands. On 2 October 2019, a semi-trailer with a dolly and low loader carrying a 50 tonne crane lost control and slid about one metre down the roadside embankment. The recovery operation was unable to use a straight forward approach of bringing in another truck mounted crane to recover the lost crane. After considering the various options available for such a challenging environment, what resulted was an involved and complex lifting operation, the likes of which have not been seen in Far North Queensland.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR undertook embankment stabilisation works to construct a platform to support a 230-tonne crane, which was used to retrieve the vehicle and its load. In the interest of safety as part of the road operations, Gillies Range Road was closed for a total of four days to complete the operation. The alternative routes (either to the north or to the south) added at least two hours to trip times (one way). TMR officers in the Traffic Management/Road Operations area co-ordinated the process with the TMR communications team to manage the complicated lifting operation as well as mitigating the impacts of the road closures on the travelling public with extensive communication.

Structures Interactive Reporting System (SIRS) – thinking outside the box

Jocelyn Handley
Principle Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Structures Interactive Reporting System (SIRS) is an exciting new visual reporting tool that was released in January 2021 to help Department of Transport and Main Roads staff better understand and use the data available within the departments’ Bridge Information System (BIS). Thinking outside the box and using the power of Alteryx and Tableau software, SIRS has been developed as a web-based interactive dashboard that provides a spatial and graphical representation of the condition and inventory data through a series of interactive layers. It complements the Bridge Information System data and allows users to filter structural information by attributes such as district, material type, or condition state. Designed to support improved investment planning and decisions over the life cycle of bridges and major culverts at a broader link level, it is a game changer for structural management.

Pacific Motorway M1 Upgrade Program: Delivering innovative, sustainable solutions for complex transport needs

Rick Haywood
Senior Environmental Officer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Catlin Tonner
Sustainability Coordinator, WSP

The Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill (EMP2DH) and Varsity Lakes to Tugun (VL2T) projects include over $1.7billion of investment, that forms part of the wider Pacific Motorway (M1) upgrade program aimed at improving safety and reducing congestion along one of Australia’s busiest highways. EMP2DH and VL2T are each made up of three design packages of works, being delivered under a Transport Infrastructure Construct Only (TIC-CO) procurement strategy. Each package of works within the two projects is targeting Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) ratings of ‘excellent’, which represents going beyond business as usual and delivering best practice environmental, social and economic outcomes. The individual package ratings will then contribute to the overarching IS Program ratings for EMP2DH and VL2T.

The EMP2DH and VL2T projects are the first Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) projects to undertake an IS Program rating approach, which reflects the unique and innovative nature of the projects. This presentation will focus on the strategy to applying the IS rating scheme at a Program level including the benefits and efficiencies of a Program level approach, and the tangible, innovative sustainable solutions as well as key project learnings. This includes innovative construction and engineering techniques incorporating concrete rubblisation, unique fauna sensitive road design aimed at re-establishing populations of threatened butterfly species, innovative koala/fauna exclusion fences and enhancement of aquatic habitats, and numerous other sustainability initiatives.

EMP2DH and VL2T will be a landmark project for TMR. The project teams are excited to share this information with TMR and the wider industry to promote further adoption of best practice principles and drive innovative solutions to complex transport needs.

Virtual WiM – Informing credible decisions

Robert Heywood
Techncial Specialist – Structures, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The transport of heavy indivisible loads on low loaders and load platforms presents the greatest risk to the bridges in Queensland’s bridge network. Like the indivisible loads they carry, these vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. Further information about these vehicles such as their dimensions, mass distribution, operational range and their effects on bridges has been sought to better inform the asset management, access management and assessment of the bridges they cross.

Recent improvements in the collection of bridge response data, Weigh-in-Motion (WiM) and classifier data is enabling existing data sources to be leveraged across the state to do more with what we have and to inform credible decisions for access to and management of bridges and pavements.

These investigations are providing the evidence to effectively manage assets through understanding the attributes of these OSOM vehicles such as mass, configurations, dimensions, where and how fast they travel and how they interact with bridges. Case studies highlight the possibilities and opportunities which exist within this imperfect, but rich data source to better understand the utilisation and management of assets and deliver a more sustainable, productive, and safe bridge network.

Captain Cook Bridge – Bearing Replacement

View Presentation

Matthew Hourigan
Principal Engineer (Structures Design Review and Standards), Department Of Transport And Main Roads

Nick Le Good
Senior Project Manager, Department Of Transport And Main Roads

Captain Cook Bridge opened in 1973 and held the record for span length (183m) for a box girder bridge at that time. It was designed to carry 33t vehicles and now carries vehicles with a mass of 50t. The bridge has two suspended spans, each supported by rocker style bearings. The knuckles in the bearings containing worn sliding material were replaced in 1997. The sliding material was found to be discharging again in 2017.

The knuckle type bearing is a superseded technology as it only allows articulation on one axis resulting in uneven bearing pressures. The bearings have failed prematurely twice since the bridge was built and a more sustainable solution was required. It was postulated that contributing causes for the failure were: the style of bearing, the higher loads on the bearings compared to their original design loads, and the significant movements of the bearings due to traffic as well as temperature.

The adopted solution was to completely replace the old bearings with modern spherical bearings. Constraints for the new bearings included the sizes of the bearing shelves, the existing anchor bolt layouts and the challenge of replacing the bearings on the busiest bridge in the city. The new bearings also incorporated load cells which enabled optimal setting of the bearings and will allow loads on the bridge to be monitored into the future, thus making Captain Cook Bridge one of the new breed of ‘smart’ bridges. The presentation will cover the selection and design of the new bearings as well as outlining how the challenges of installation were overcome.

Recycled materials – embracing the sustainability challenge

Mike Pickering
Director (Pavements, Research and Innovation), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The use of recycled materials in road construction is becoming an increasing priority, both to deal with Australia’s waste stream, but also to reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources. The Department of Transport and Main Roads has a long track record of recycling existing pavements, and in recent times a significant amount of research has also been undertaken on increasing the use of recycled materials as well as using new and innovative recycled materials. This research has explored the performance, environmental, sustainability, WH&S, re-recyclability, procurement, and economic aspects of recycled materials

Modelling Travel Time Variability within Transport Networks in Australia: A Practitioner Oriented Approach

Elnaz Irannezhad
Prinicpal Professional, Australian Road Research Board (ARRB)

This paper presents the findings of a study for Australian road and transport agencies led by the Australian Road Research Board in collaboration with the University of NSW to refine a measurement for road reliability for inclusion in the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) Guidelines.

The ATAP Guidelines are widely used for planning, assessing and developing transport systems and initiatives. It is widely recognised that travellers increasingly take into consideration travel time reliability in their travel decision making. Therefore, the benefits of improved travel time reliability has become an important factor in appraisal of transport related initiatives. While modelling travel time variability has been widely studied by researchers, the methods lack a practitioner-friendly approach. The aim of this work was to propose calibrated, practitioner-ready formulae to determine travel time variability at a resolution of a link and a route.

Specifically, the team used Australian data from observed travel times and their standard deviations to develop a formula that can be applied to a range of road stereotypes (capacity and congestion). For the link travel time variability, an exponential functional form was developed, referred to as the ATAP model, and was found to outperform other shortlisted models. Separate ATAP model parameters were calibrated for arterial and freeway links. The calibrated models were also validated using travel time data from Australian states. For the route travel time variability, a Correlation Route Model (CRM) is recommended which comprises two components: ATAP model and the Correlation Coefficient Model (CCM).

This work provides simple equations which can be quickly applied by practitioners to determine expected travel time variability in a road network, and utilise it in transport planning and economic appraisal applications.

Digital Solutions to Physical Problems

Graham Irvine
Senior Engineering Geologist, GHD

Combining state-of-the-art software solutions and practical site experience, we have implemented a number of digital solutions, providing higher quality deliverables while reducing overall project costs.

We will describe three projects where we’ve thought outside-of-the-box using existing tools to develop new workflows and deliver unique solutions to common problems.

  • 3D geological and structural modelling: Using Leapfrog Works we’ve developed detailed geological models combining historical investigations, geological mapping and survey. This historical data is used to develop a range of geological and geotechnical models which work with recognised design packages. Model sections can be directly imported into slope stability software to determine factors of safety. Models are dynamically updated as new data is provided. Cut and fill volumes can be estimated within the model. We will summarise how 3D geological modelling has been applied.
  • Gillies Range Road Streamlining the Slope Hazard Risk Assessment Process: The RMS slope risk analysis system is used to understand slope hazards on the Department of Transport and Main Roads road network. GHD recently completed a package of slopes on the Gilles Range Road, comprised of over 200 slopes. 3D digital solutions combine with high resolution LiDAR data to create detailed cross sections at 10m spacing and prepopulated site plans across the entire alignment. This allows for detailed sections to be drawn onsite, reducing field time and delivering a more accurate representation of the site hazards.

Regional scale predicted rock fall runout probability models: Combining high resolution LiDAR data, GIS information and probabilistic rock fall runout software to develop detailed hazards plans for a key client. Using a 3D topography surface combined with site inspections to refine ground conditions in various geological terrains, we have developed a hazard map showing predicted runouts of rockfalls. Typically this is restricted to a site-by-site basis, but we have applied the analysis on a regional scale to display hazards across a wide area.

Bearing Replacement using Cotton Duck Pads

Padra Moua
Principal Structural Engineer, Civil Structures, ANZ, AECOM

Matt Hourigan
Principal Engineer (Structures Design Review and Standards), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Seventeen Mile Rocks Road Overpass Bridge is a four span, continuous, box girder overpass structure built around 1966. During a scheduled Level 2 Inspection, it was noted that the original bearings had suffered significant corrosion and required replacement. The original bearings had a high compressive stiffness and were comprised of a quarter-inch neoprene pad. Sliding was accommodated between the stainless-steel sole plate attached to the bridge soffit and the bronze plate attached to the neoprene pad.

Due to the continuous nature of the structure and the limited working room (approximately 60 millimetres between bearing shelf and deck soffit) the bearing replacement solution was not straight forward. The solution was driven by a desire to minimise change to the overall structural behaviour of the bridge. Therefore, the replacement bearing needed to maintain the existing articulation of the structure, meet the geometric constraints (vertical height and plan), and have a similar vertical stiffness to the existing bearing.

Three bearing replacement options were considered: mortar pad, 10 millimetre elastomeric pad, and Cotton Duck Pad (CDP) with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Even though it was not a Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) approved product, the project team investigated the use of CDP bearings due to the comparable compressive stiffness to the original bearing. This innovative approach minimised the risk of changing the structure’s behaviour. The CDP with PTFE bearing was considered the optimal bearing solution and project specific approval for its use was granted by TMR.

Challenges faced during the replacement of the bearings included minimising the vertical displacement of the bridge to avoid damage to the structure and/or services, as well as balancing the continued operation of the bridge throughout the works to minimise impacts to the local community. The CDP bearings with PTFE were successfully installed in late 2019.

Geospatial web applications for better project outcomes

Gustaf Johnson
Digital Interdisciplinary Lead, WSP

This presentation explores how fit for purpose geospatial applications have been applied to drive better outcomes for community engagement and project delivery on the Bruce Highway Interchange Upgrade – Maroochydore Road and Mons Road project.

Our research tells us that when technology is used more effectively, we can help projects and stakeholders build stronger relationships with community members–ultimately supporting quicker delivery with less disruption. For this project we built a simple to use mapping application designed to communicate and engage with the public. The tool was first applied during the preliminary design phase and among many other uses it proved to be simple and effective for Department of Transport and Main Roads personnel to talk through project details over the phone with community members.

The presentation will discuss associated ideas and solutions for projects wanting to provide an engaging web and mobile experience to communicate project messages and capture public feedback. The project was also using a web mapping application to view current environmental, design, property and contextual information. This web application is only available to the project team and provides a single point of entry where spatial information from BIM, CAD, GIS and survey formats can be viewed. 

In a technology-driven world we expect information to be readily accessible, reliable, and easy to understand. We are increasingly focused on the currency of data and on developing technologies that meet these expectations. Industry is also favouring combined technologies that manage data and produce innovative solutions–a convergence of both information and technology.

Learnings from Bridge Deck Wearing Surface (DWS) Resurfacing Projects Metropolitan Region and North Queensland District: How not to damage the bridge while replacing or improving the DWS

Sri Kanapathippillai
Manager (Delivery and Operation), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Chris Cherukuri
Project Manager, RoadTek

Budi Soetanto
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The top layer of asphalt or Deck Wearing Surface (DWS) oxidises and becomes brittle over time. This top layer of asphalt provides a smooth-running surface for vehicles and for bridges, it also acts as a protective barrier to the elements for the bridge structure underneath.

When the DWS reaches the end of its design or useful life, the old asphalt DWS needs to be replaced, and in many instances, the bridge joint replaced at the same time. This removal process needs to be carefully completed to prevent damage to the bridge structure underneath. Therefore, diligent and careful planning is vital at each stage from investigation, planning, design and completion of construction.

DWS rehabilitation has been commonly avoided and delayed beyond road serviceability and waterproofing capability. This avoidance is due to the complexity associated with working on a bridge structure compared to a typical road pavement rehabilitation. There are many instances in the past where DWS removal has resulted in damage to the bridge surface which has contributed to the typical avoidance.

The DWS consists of a wearing surface (typically asphalt) and a water proofing membrane (WPM) that is placed over a bridge deck.  A functional DWS protects the bridge deck from  damage due to water ingress and provides a comfortable and safe ride for road users. Rehabilitating or replacing an existing DWS is an intricate process.  Suitable materials and methodology must be adopted to ensure the proposed new DWS performs during its design life. Most importantly, the DWS rehabilitation process must not compromise the bridge’s structural integrity. Knowledge and experience in both pavement technology and bridge structure are required to manage DWS rehabilitation project successfully.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is committed to delivering a single integrated transport network safely accessible to everyone. Program Delivery and Operations (PDO) contribute to achieving this commitment by planning and delivering value for money transport infrastructure programs and projects, ensuring the safe management of TMR assets and effectively operating the state’s road network.

The presentation will discuss the DWS rehabilitation process in its complete cycle from investigation, design and construction. Learnings from recent DWS projects (including Dos and Don’ts) from the contract administrator, contractors and consultants will also be discussed.

Real-time Analytics on Urban Mobility Data for Road Traffic Management

Mehmet Yildirimoglu
Senior Lecturer, The University Of Queensland

This talk will present research work from an ongoing collaboration between the University of Queensland, Department of Transport and Main Roads, and Transmax, which is part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) linkage project titled “Real-time Analytics on Urban Trajectory Data for Road Traffic Management”.

The overall goal of this ARC linkage project is to develop real-time predictive analytics and data management capabilities that leverage large-scale urban mobility data to provide road operators with real-time insights into population movements and enable data-driven, customer-centric network operations. Traditional traffic data collected from fixed sensors provide a limited view of network traffic and have limitations in accurately measuring traffic demand, user experience, and network congestion propagation. This project seeks to develop innovative technologies to use a wide variety of data sources, especially massive trajectories of vehicles moving across the network, to better understand dynamic travel demands and road usage patterns and, thus, better manage the transport system.

Hold the Red: Innovative technology reducing the risk of crashes at signalized intersections

Peter Kolesnik
Director (Road Safety Programs), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Crashes at signalised intersections caused by motorists disobeying red light signals carry elevated risks of serious injury or fatalities. In an Australian first, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) are conducting a trial of innovative crash-avoidance radar-based technology at several intersections across Queensland. The technology monitors vehicle speeds approaching an intersection, predicts when a vehicle will run a red light and then extends the opposing red lights to prevent vehicles and pedestrians from entering the intersection, lowering the chance of a crash while still issuing infringement notices to the offender.

TMR and QPS officers created the ‘Hold the Red’ (HTR) project as a joint submission for the TMR Director-General’s Innovation Challenge, known as the ‘TMR Hack’. In Queensland, HTR is currently being trialled at four intersections. The four sites were chosen from the list of intersections selected for installation of Combined Red Light/Speed (CRLS) cameras in 2018. This list comprised sites with the most significant crash history related to red light running over the preceding five years. Combining the installation of Hold The Red with the CRLS cameras allowed for minimisation of roadworks disruption at the sites. Site assessments were carried out to ensure that HTR technology would be suitable for the configuration of each site.

Installation at the four trial sites was carried out between August and October 2018. An evaluation of HTR’s performance is being carried out by CARRS-Q, with a final report in June 2020.

The Importance of Pavement Investigations – Lessons Learnt and Emerging Technologies

View Presentation

Hari Krishnan
Senior Engineering Technologist (Pavement Rehabilitation), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Most pavement structures will undergo some form of deterioration during their design life. Investigation into the probable cause of distress is required to understand the failure mechanism–to develop appropriate pavement rehabilitation options; and to provide data for improving or modifying design methods, construction techniques and construction specifications. The presentation will use case studies to provide an overview of the importance of desktop data review, site inspection and pavement investigation techniques (destructive and non-destructive) including the use of emerging pavement evaluation technology.

Bruce Highway Road Improvement Project (BHROIP)

Aline Laborde
ITS Engineer, WSP

The Bruce Highway Road Operations Improvement Project involves the development of an enhanced road operations programme for 1,700km (1,056miles) of the rural portion of the Bruce Highway. Implementation of ITS on this scale in a rural and remote environment has not been done before in Australia.

The highway is managed by multiple Districts and subject to a variety of impacts; including congestion, crashes, bushfires, landslides and flooding. The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) deploys various treatments and devices to assist in identifying and mitigating the effects of these impacts. The upgrade will enable the road operator to share real time situational awareness on the rural portions of the highway. Innovations included:

  • use of unique data aggregation/analytical techniques in combination with Wireless Traffic Sensors for incident detection
  • development of a flood monitoring system for rural environments that can be deployed efficiently and consistently across vast distances and support remote maintenance capabilities
  • innovations to enable efficient power use; including methods to reduce device power consumption in the rural environment

Importantly, devices had to be designed around the available power and telecommunications systems, as wired power and telecommunications connectivity is not always available in regional environments. This meant that power efficiency methods had to be given priority. The design focused on use of ‘off the shelf’, modular, low power devices and STREAMS Communication Processors. The latter were used for communications with STREAMS, primarily via Telstra Cellular NTUs in compliance with TMR specifications. Success for this project will involve:

  • enhanced safety, by increasing situational awareness and minimising challenges in managing events
  • improved flood immunity; resulting in increased reliability of the road network and reduced duration of closures during a flood, and
  • enhanced economic opportunity through improved level of service and improved travel time consistency.

Transurban’s network-wide approach to operations

Angelo Lambrinos
General Manager, Assets QLD, Transurban

This presentation will focus on one of Transurban’s current key projects – to create a single, state of the art Network Operations Centre for South East Queensland, that enables our Operations team to work together with all relevant stakeholders, to deliver the safest and most efficient level of service for our customers.

Transurban currently operates four traffic control rooms, all on separate control systems. Angelo will talk about Transurban’s journey to consolidate these control rooms into a single integrated Network Operations Centre that can better manage complex maintenance requirements, incident response, and proactive customer communications. Further benefits are also expected through system machine learning capability trained by analysing traffic data and used to predict traffic conditions and optimise traffic flow.

Practical Culvert Design Observations in Queensland

Nicholas Lancashire
Principal, Austserve Pty Ltd

Dominic Jones
Geotechnical Engineer, Jacobs

Buried underground drainage structures are used to satisfy the hydraulic requirements of a given site/environment and are typically manufactured of reinforced (traditional steel or fibre of various material type) concrete when used in Civil applications. With the improvement of culvert inspection technology incorporating robotic camera inspection post installation, discovery of cracked culverts has been an increasing issue in Queensland.

Reinforced concrete pipe culverts are known to crack for various reasons including transport, handling, placement, backfill (e.g. compaction, material grading, trench width), foundation quality (e.g. bearing capacity, expansive soils) and vehicle over-loading during construction. A culvert’s vulnerability to be adversely affected by these conditions can be a function of its design, particularly associated with installation conditions and strength class.

At present, drainage engineers – typically a hydraulic discipline – design all aspects of culverts including installation condition and class. Whilst structural and geotechnical calculation and knowledge feature significantly in culvert design, it is typical for drainage engineers to rely on computer output when selecting culvert class and installation condition.

This review will focus on these aspects from a geotechnical and structural perspective, for culverts of rubber ring joint (RRJ) or flush joint (FJ) type, with outside dimension (OD) greater than 375mm, manufactured of reinforced concrete and sold with load class information for designer assessment.

The review will highlight how the current culvert design process occurs – and provide structural and geotechnical insight around the importance for designers to have a good working understanding of AS 5100.2:2017 and AS/NZS 3725:2007. The review will also assess if a popular computer program in use by drainage engineers is providing satisfactory results for use on Queensland projects and demonstrate how these findings may be relevant to the broader Australian and New Zealand region. Practical insights and suggestions on how analysis, selection of appropriate culvert class and detailed design information can be improved are also discussed.

How to treat Principal Cycle Network Priority Routes on low speed and trafficked streets?

Michael Langdon
Senior Advisor (cycling And Walking), Department of Transport and Main Roads

While bicycle lanes or separated bicycle facilities (such as CycleTracks or ‘pop-up’ Cycleways) are always preferred to allocate a designated operating space for cyclists on the road, these are often only warranted on roads with significant traffic volumes and speeds higher than the default urban speed (in built-up areas in Queensland it is 50km/h unless otherwise indicated by signs).

In low speed, low traffic street environments often the default treatment is to have bicycles and vehicles ‘mix’ and not implement any treatment apart from wayfinding. This often results in uncertainty about how to treat Principal Cycle Network Priority Routes where there is a need to designate priority due to bicycle volumes. Advisory Bicycle Lanes and Cycle Streets are treatment options to encourage safer road user interactions where vehicles and bicycle riders are required to mix in the same space.

Analysis of the risk of motorist rear-end collision at raised priority crossings

Michael Langdon
Senior Advisor (cycling And Walking), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has recently implemented and developed technical guidance on the design of priority crossings for people who walk and ride bicycles at intersections of terminating (minor) streets. These crossings have been implemented on Principal Cycle Network Priority Routes (PCN-PR) across Queensland and are designed to provide a higher level of service and safety to all path users, but so far have only been implemented in limited numbers in Queensland.

Concerns have been raised that these intersection treatments may exacerbate the rear-end collision risk for motorists on the continuing (main) road insofar as they increase the likelihood turning motorists will reduce speed and give way to people who walk or ride bicycles crossing the terminating street. To determine if this was the case, an observational study of path user/vehicle interactions was undertaken at high-traffic intersections, and the results analysed.

This presentation will give a state-wide overview of the design and operation of priority crossings, road rules, behavioural observations and the results of the analysis of vehicle/path user interactions at intersections with priority crossings.

Treatment options to improve safety of pedestrians, bicycle riders and other path users at driveways

Michael Langdon
Senior Advisor (cycling And Walking), Department of Transport and Main Roads

In response to recent footpath crashes and the introduction into the transport system of micro-mobility devices (‘personal mobility devices’, PMD) operating on footpaths, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has recently published new technical guidance on treatment options to improve the safety of pedestrians, bicycle riders and other path users at driveways.

Footpaths, shared paths and bike paths in road-related areas separate vulnerable road users including pedestrians, bicycle riders, electric scooter riders and people with disabilities from motor vehicles. These path users may be walking, cycling, scooting or using personal mobility devices or wheeled recreational devices at speeds ranging from 2.6–30 km/h. Conflicts can occur between path users and vehicles on driveways. Crashes between path users and motor vehicles at driveways can result in fatal and serious injuries. Under the Safe System, roads and roadsides should be designed to avoid these types of crashes, reduce the risk of crashes occurring and encourage safe behaviour.

This new publication provides guidance for treating motor vehicle and path user conflicts at access driveways. It can be used to assess risk at existing sites and at sites where a new access driveway or active transport infrastructure is proposed. This publication provides guidance to assist with:

  • identifying driveways where path users are, or could be, at increased risk
  • identifying appropriate treatment options to mitigate risks at driveways.

This presentation will provide an overview, walk-through and explanation of this new technical publication. This will also include an example practical application on a recent project.

Bridge Network Analysis Program

Hai Le
Principal, Bridge Network Analysis

Bridge asset management is an important task to maintain the safety of our transportation network. The key activities of management of bridge assets include bridge inspection, analysis, assessment, bridge rehabilitation, and structural monitoring. The bridge analysis and assessment are proactive actions to evaluate the ability of the bridges to cope with heavy vehicle loadings on the networks.

Currently oversize and over mass vehicles operate on our aging bridge networks with their mass much heavier than of original design vehicles. Therefore, our bridges will be at risk of collapse if we do not check for carrying load capacity.

A single bridge can be analysed easily using existing computer software. However, when assessing bridge networks for multiple heavy vehicle loadings it will be difficult and high risk if a simple approach is used.

The Bridge Network Analysis Package is a new computer program that can undertake structural analysis for bridge networks using a Finite Element Method. The package includes (1) Bridge network analysis (2-D beam), (2) Box culvert analysis (2-D frame), and (3) 2-D grillage model. The program can undertake structural analysis for all types of bridge structures including single span, multiple spans, continuous bridge, bridges with drop in span, cantilever bridge, single and multiple cell box culvert structure. In addition, the 2-D grillage module can be used for undertaking detailed bridge analysis (Tier 2-bridge assessment); this program can undertake structural analysis for all type of bridge super structure including concrete, steel, composite and timber bridge while take into account possible deteriorations of the bridge elements.

The program can help bridge authorities to rapidly undertake structural analysis, screening, assessment and reissuing of heavy load permits easily and efficiently with a friendly graphic interface.

Management of Structures with Concrete Halving Joint

View Presentation

Carrie Lin
A/principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Tim Heldt
Technical Specialist, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The root cause of a number of international bridge collapses in the past 20 years has been identified as resulting from the poor performance of structural details known as halving joints. While the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) no longer allows this type of detail, they were considered acceptable for many years, and are not uncommon on the TMR network. Detailed research has been undertaken during the past 20 years (notably in Europe) to understand and quantify the behaviour of these details.

As a responsible asset steward, TMR is currently undertaking a project titled Management of Structures with Concrete Halving Joints which involves:

  • a network review to identify all concrete halving joint bridges
  • preliminary safety risk ranking of identified bridges
  • detailed inspection, starting with those considered to represent greatest network risk, using the recent research to understand the performance of TMR halving joints and quantify resulting risks
  • interventions, such as strengthening of structures as deemed appropriate.

This presentation will provide an overview of the project, followed by a discussion of key learnings to date, and also discuss likely scenarios for addressing these details on the remainder of the network.

Wireless Condition Monitoring: Case Studies from Europe and APAC Region

Heath Low
BDM Deformation Monitoring, Position Partners

Wireless sensor networks have established themselves as a cost effective, precise, and reliable tool for the condition monitoring of road, geo-technical and structural assets. As the pre-eminent and proven solution manufacturer, Senceive have been able to provide remote, automated monitoring of assets using high precision, small, low cost, battery powered wireless mesh sensor systems.

When the past gets in the way of the future: Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Rocklea to Darra- Stage 1 Project Oxley Creek Bridge

David MacKenzie
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Stuart Cook
Civil Transport lead, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) plans to upgrade the eastern end of the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea and Darra in a staged approach. Stage 1 is currently underway and covers a 3km section of the Ipswich Motorway from Granard Road, Rocklea to just east of the Oxley Road Interchange, Oxley. This is the next most critical section of the remaining 7kms of the Ipswich Motorway still to be upgraded.

The Australian and Queensland governments have committed funds for the $400 million upgrade on a 50:50 basis. The project will improve travel time, reliability, safety, local connectivity and flood immunity. In April 2017 TMR engaged joint venture Bielby Hull Albem (BHA) as the contractor to design and construct the works. BHA engaged Cardno BG&E joint venture to provide design services.

During the driving of pre-stressed concrete piles for the new eastbound motorway bridge over Oxley Creek, the piling rig struck what was later determined to be remnants of a previously demolished historic bridge. The substructure components included buried timber and concrete elements. Bridge works were critical activities so time was of the essence. Innovative and collaborative design and construction techniques were required immediately to limit impacts.

This presentation will cover:

  • Original bridge design
  • History of Oxley Creek bridge crossings
  • Bridge remnants encountered and steps to document and remove them
  • Workshopping design and construction options and the solution adopted
  • Innovative design work to re-use already cast bridge girders
  • Project learnings

Sustainable STREAMS hosting through innovative telecommunications

Jason MacPherson
Principal Engineer (Safer Roads), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Bruce Bernhardt
Principal Technical Officer (ITS Networks), Department of Transport and Main Roads

In 2020 the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Northern District and Engineering and Technology Branch (E&T) successfully relocated TMR’s STREAMS instance in Townsville to a more sustainable hosting arrangement. The Townsville STREAMS traffic system application instance was transferred from the TMR-owned production server into a Disaster Recovery Data Centre, resulting in greater availability and reliability of STREAMS to the road operations business.

STREAMS is TMR’s Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) platform that enables holistic operational management of the transport network. TMR’s Townsville instance of STREAMS currently provides these services for the Program Delivery and Operations (PDO) managed road network in both the Northern and North West Districts.

Historically STREAMS was required to be hosted within road agency owned premises and required specialist technical district personnel to maintain the very expensive and technically challenging servers and network switches. The typical arrangement for hosting STREAMS was to have a single instance per PDO District.

This change was made possible by technological advancements in long haul, high bandwidth telecommunication service offerings, and recent market offerings of dedicated data centres for hosting applications.

Through a collaborative approach, and working towards clear common objectives, PDO and E&T were able to work highly effectively–together and with key industry partners (Transmax, ITB)–to achieve this relocation in time for the 2020/21 North Queensland wet season. The key pillar to the success of this project was the extensive effort in preparing TMR’s ITS Information and Communication Technologies network to accommodate the change.

With the STREAMS instance successfully relocated, these district specialists can now re-focus their time on operating the road network itself, rather than the technology behind it. PDO and E&T can now also consider further opportunities across the state for relocating and consolidating STREAMS instances to more sustainable hosting arrangements going forward.

Responding to Bushfires

Luke Madigan
Manager (Operations), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Recent improvements in the collection of bridge response data, Weigh-in-Motion (WiM) and classifier data is enabling existing data sources to be leveraged across the state to do more with what we have and to inform credible decisions for access to and management of bridges and pavements.

Traffic and Transport solutions for the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium – Townsville

View Presentation

Stephen Mallows
District Director (Northern), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Bruce Bernhardt
Principal Technical Officer (ITS Networks), Department of Transport and Main Roads

These investigations are providing the evidence to effectively manage assets through understanding the attributes of these OSOM vehicles such as mass, configurations, dimensions, where and how fast they travel and how they interact with bridges. Case studies highlight the possibilities and opportunities which exist within this imperfect, but rich data source to better understand the utilisation and management of assets and deliver a more sustainable, productive, and safe bridge network.

Fibre Mapping and Maintenance for Road Infrastructure

Christopher Mason
Principal Engineer (ITS), Department of Transport and Main Roads

In 2018, Metropolitan Region Busways ITS&E Team embarked on an innovative solution to improve the busways fibre maintenance, operating, design and planning works whilst increasing transparency of the fibre network. This was undertaken through the engagement of a busways fibre maintenance contractor.

Universal Communications Group (UCG) has been awarded the contract and the responsibility for the operation and management of all Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) fibre throughout the busways network. UCG has since collated, developed and is managing TMR’s busway fibre records in GE’s geospatial network data management software platform, SmallWorld. The SmallWorld platform provides TMR with a single, accurate source of information–aiding in the swift rectification of critical operational and maintenance activities. The SmallWorld GIS software is exportable into iMAPS, providing increased transparency and efficiency for planners, estimators, designers, and engineers throughout the department. Ultimately, SmallWorld provides greater transparency, aids in the delivery of TMR’s infrastructure projects, and will reduce the long-term operating cost of the asset.

While GIS databases are not new to the telecommunication industry, they are new to TMR’s ITS network. With a focus on data driven maintenance, the work undertaken by the Busways ITS&E Team, has been courageous in challenging what maintenance has always been, for what it can be. 

Once a fibre network is mapped and imported into the SmallWorld platform, outages are swiftly rectified. Having the information in a single source for both TMR engineers and on-site technicians provides greater reliability to the network and the services that rely upon it.

Through a data driven GIS approach to maintenance, TMR fosters innovation and drives efficiencies by providing a more detailed and transparent understanding of the existing asset–and future asset plans for the region–to be incorporated in upcoming or neighbouring projects.

Factcheck: zebras, wombats and false sense of security

Mark Mcdonald
Principal Technologist (Bicycles, Pedestrians And Motorcycles), Department Of Transport And Main Roads

Queensland’s Road Safety Strategy 2015–21 marks the first time a Queensland government has committed to a vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries. The strategy aims to achieve this vision by implementing the safe system framework. The strategy states that a cultural shift is required in attitudes towards road safety, so that people reject the notion that death and serious injuries are simply ‘part and parcel’ of using the roads.

Given the context above, this presentation seeks to review the application of the safe system and evidence-based research in relation to unsignalised crossings for people walking or riding bikes. In particular:

  • Who uses crossings?
  • Which road users have the greatest influence on safe system outcomes?
  • What is the safety evidence for marked and unmarked unsignalised crossings?
  • What does relevant evidence say about marked crossings and “false sense of security”
  • How do the above considerations influence designing to achieve the vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries?

Building Disneyland

Jennifer McMillan
Project Director (GUN), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Gateway Upgrade North (GUN) project was a challenging project delivered by an excellent project team, blended from two separate organisations. While this would usually be a recipe for an awkward mixing of cultures, this team defied the odds. People loved coming to work in such a positive environment – one that became known as ‘Disneyland’ – which produced outstanding results.

This is a TED-style talk about the building of a team and a working environment—so that the learnings are shared, and the experience can be repeated for the benefit of the organisation.

TMR BIM Implementation – Alignment with Queensland Government Principles

Bryan McSweeney
Manager (Digital Systems), Department of Transport and Main Roads

In the 2016 State Infrastructure Plan, the Queensland Government set the direction that all major government infrastructure projects will transition to implement Building Information Modelling (BIM) by 2023. As a result of this governmental mandate, Engineering and Technology Branch in TMR formally embarked on a journey to implement BIM within the department to better deliver transport infrastructure projects.

In November 2018 the Queensland Government released the Digital enablement for Queensland infrastructure – principles for BIM implementation which set the framework that will guide Queensland Government agencies in their consistent implementation of BIM.

Cabinet Decision (1547) Nov 2018 Endorsed the implementation of the BIM Principles and set a requirement that all major government construction projects >=$50m which commence detailed Business Case from 1 Jul 2019 required to use BIM in line with the principles

This presentation will highlight TMR’s alignment with the Queensland Government principles for BIM implementation.

TransLink Digital Futures Program

Dusty Miller
Director (Digital Solutions), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The TransLink Digital Futures Program introduces an embedded and dedicated approach to investigation, experimentation and prototyping with new technologies in close collaboration with stakeholders and customers. This program enables TransLink to investigate, develop, test and validate new digital opportunities. Opportunities are scoped and prioritised, and Proof of Concepts (PoC’s) are undertaken to evaluate and capture learnings which then inform potential future project investment decisions.

Bruce Hwy – Six Mile Creek to Gavial Creek Pavement Widening and Rehabilitation Project

Wasantha Lal Mohotti Arachchilage
Principal Engineer, Department Of Transport And Main Roads

Steve Gill
Senior Engineer, Department Of Transport And Main Roads

The Bruce Highway – Six Mile Creek to Gavial Creek Pavement Widening and Rehabilitation Project involved pavement widening and rehabilitation works for an over 12km section of the Bruce Highway. The Department of Transport and Main Roads selected triple blend insitu stabilisation to treat weak subgrades. After the flood in 2017, subgrade was saturated with posing constructability issues. The project team came up with an innovative solution to treat the saturated subgrade using lime, without exposing the subgrade. This technique helped the project team to deliver the project with significant cost savings. Later Engineering and Technology Branch – Pavement Rehabilitation Unit adopted this technique throughout the state to solve subgrade issues.

Pedestrian Protection at Signalised Intersections

Lachlan Moir
Senior Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

In the 10-year period from 2009 to 2018, 1245 casualty crashes and 725 fatal or serious injury crashes involving pedestrians occurred at signalised intersections in Queensland. Over this time, pedestrian crashes at signalised intersections represent about 20% of all pedestrian casualty crashes.

Traffic movements at intersections pose unique challenges to pedestrians. As opposed to informal crossings where pedestrians are required to find gaps in traffic, signalised crossings control pedestrian movements to minimise the possibility of conflict. One issue that arises is that there are circumstances where vehicles are permitted to turn through an active pedestrian crossing, with the requirement to give way to pedestrians. This is a source of possible conflict and increased risk to pedestrians.

Following several fatal crashes involving pedestrians using crossing facilities at signals, a review of 10 years of crash data informed the development of a new risk assessment tool. This tool was then used to conduct a state-wide desktop review of every signalised intersection. All intersections were assigned a risk score and prioritised for treatment through a mass action program funded by the Targeted Road Safety Program. Guidance was also developed and published in late 2016 which mandates pedestrian protection treatments at all new or upgraded signals.

Preliminary analysis indicates promising evidence of reductions in pedestrian crashes since the program began. From 2012 to 2016, the average number of pedestrian incidents on state-controlled roads involving turning vehicles failing to give way at signalised intersections was 11.6 per year. Since the massaction program and guidance change there has been on average 6.5 casualty crashes per year, a reduction of 44%.

The importance of bus depots in the Zero-Emission Bus transition

View Presentation

Athol Moore
Principal Transport Planner, WSP

Laurane de Gendre
Senior Transport Planner, WSP

Brian Smith
Technical Executive, WSP

Most major Australian cities have committed to transitioning their diesel bus fleet to zero-emission (ZE) technology in the coming years. The process of procuring the right battery or hydrogen fuel cell electric bus is important and well understood; however, the importance of planning for critical enabling infrastructure can be overlooked. This paper focusses on the transition to ZE buses through the lens of depots, including the energy required to power them.

Depot availability and readiness often dictate the feasible pace of the transition because delivery timeframes for ZE bus fleets from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) tend to be quicker compared with lead times needed to plan, design and deliver depots and the related power infrastructure. This is largely because of the new and complex stakeholder engagement, infrastructure upgrades and delivery requirements that are introduced.

Designing a ZE depot, whether an existing depot retrofit or a new build, is more complex than for a diesel depot. A ZE depot may have greater space needs for vehicles, charging or fueling equipment and energy infrastructure. In addition, maintenance arrangements may need to include charging equipment; and special arrangements for maintaining and repairing high voltage systems.

This paper highlights the importance of planning depots as we transition towards ZE bus fleets. We explore best practice in planning, designing and delivering new or upgraded ZE bus depots to support the ZE transport system transition. This includes optimising depot:

  • locations, considering land availability, dead-runs and local grid capacity
  • layouts, to accommodate the required charger/refuelling station, energy generation and storage including behind-the-meter; and resilience of supply
  • energy demands (power and/or hydrogen), to understand the infrastructure size and cost with potential peak demand flattening
  • workforce training, and standard procedures to enable safe day-to-day operation and maintenance
  • asset ownership and commercial arrangements to minimise risk.

DASH Rapid Flood Modelling for Impact-Based Flood Forecasting: a Proof of Concept

Juliette Murphy
CEO, Floodmapp

Flood forecast products provided by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) include text-based flood warnings stating the forecast peak flood height, and a web mapping service showing affected catchments. To understand impacts to critical infrastructure (such as roads and buildings), the recipient needs to translate the flood warning from a predicted flood height to a predicted inundation extent and calculate indicative impact to assets. Traditional 2D hydraulic flood models typically used to produce flood inundation extents are computationally intensive with exceptionally long run times, making them infeasible for real-time flood forecasting purposes. 

In an aim to further improve situational awareness and support informed decision-making during emergency management, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) undertook a proof of concept (PoC) for impact-based flood forecasting in collaboration BoM, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and FloodMapp.

The study focused on St George, Queensland. FloodMapp DASH, a rapid flood modelling technology was applied to forecast flood inundation extent mapping and depths for a given flood hydrograph provided by BoM. A DASH model was developed for St George, and extended to cover the entire Balonne Condamine catchment to demonstrate application at scale. A range of hydraulic flood simulations were undertaken for a February 2020 flood event.  

Flood extent and depth outputs from the DASH model runs were used in a spatial analysis to quantify forecast flood impacts to infrastructure including roads and buildings, adding additional context and location-specific insights to BoM hydrology forecasts. These impacts were validated with TMR where data was available.

The PoC showed that DASH was accurate when validated based on aerial imagery of the observed flood extent for St George in February 2020. The study concluded that DASH was well-suited to impact-based flood forecasting to predict impacts to infrastructure and enhance the emergency response. Furthermore, DASH was able to generate flood extents at catchment-scale.

DDI Interchange Solutions in Constrained Urban Corridors

Derek Neuhold
Highways, Structures & Asset Management Team Lead, HDR

Ricky Cox 
Principal Advisor, HDR

Globally, road agencies are continuing to investigate driving performance and safety improvements at existing intersections and interchanges. While applying solutions in green field situations may provide a number of viable options, existing constrained urban precincts pose more of a challenge in achieving those performance improvements, particularly with restricted footprint and existing structures.

This presentation discusses the challenges and opportunities of retrofitting existing interchanges with Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) solutions, and exploring how existing structures and infrastructure can be integrated into a solution that provides performance improvements. It will discuss the Strathpine/Gympie Road DDI Upgrade project as a case study from the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ Metropolitan Region.

This presentation will detail some of the challenges faced around existing constraints and how that was proactively managed through the design process with geometry, traffic and cost-effective structural solutions.

Station Design: Meeting the Future Challenges for New Mobility

Cathie Norton
Associate, Arup

The Queensland Government has released the Queensland Transport Strategy, a 30-year vision for the transport system which aims for accessible and convenient transport, safe journeys for all, seamless and efficient transport, and sustainable, resilient and liveable communities.

As a passenger transport operator in South East Queensland, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has a rolling program of upgrades to station and access facilities to respond to a range of existing problems, such as inadequate platform capacity, bus-rail interchange arrangements and meeting DDA compliance. In recent years there has also been considerable community and political pressure calling for short term investment in park ‘n’ ride capacity upgrades. However, disruptive transport and technology developments are initiating rapid unprecedented change for our future transport system. This technology could reduce the need for parking by up to 75% by some estimates.

The changes in mobility trends, driven by personalised transport in the short term and by autonomous vehicles in future, suggest that parking is unlikely to be a major issue. Instead, less private parking and more drop off/pick up facilities are expected. The resulting land could instead be used to create liveable communities and promote more environmentally friendly, safer travel journeys. Building on global research and trends, this paper presents a significant opportunity for TMR to re-think conventional station design by transitioning to mobility hubs. Examples of mobility hubs are emerging globally which integrate public transport with a range of new shared mobility modes to act as catalysts for more sustainable and inclusive travel choices, as well as creating opportunities to incorporate community facilities, public space, and residential and commercial development.

This paper explores defining attributes for stations to function as mobility hubs and develops a transition pathway for TMR for stations through planning for flexible infrastructure.

“Asset Consumption”: What does it mean for bridges?

Torill Pape
Director (Structures Design, Review And Standards), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Peter Shaw
Specialist Technical Engineer, Structures, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Transportation Research Board defines service life of a bridge as being “the time duration during which the bridge element, component, subsystem, or system provides the desired level of performance or functionality, with any required level of repair and/or maintenance” (Azizinamini et al., 2014).

The definition and measurement of service life of an asset is viewed as a key requirement in all asset management forecasting models. Understanding when an asset requires replacement or where an asset is in its lifecycle provides the opportunity for asset managers to be prepared for future investment and determine what maintenance activities are necessary. However, it is a term that is high level and data on the timeframe for actual retirement of a bridge asset is variable and difficult to quantify. Traditionally, it has been implied that a codified design life can be adopted for the service life of a bridge, and that residual life is “the difference between the nominal design life and the age of the structure”.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) develops bridge-specific and network management strategies and activities. As with most road agencies in Australia, TMR is managing an aging bridge network whilst trying to balance a demand for increased heavy vehicle access with availability of funding. In turn, asset management strategies begin to consider ‘sweating an asset’ and risk management requirements in order to obtain greater returns for investment.

The concept of asset consumption in bridges is subsequently explored, particularly in the light of a reduced maintenance regime or permitting a higher level of service without capital investment (i.e. ‘sweating an asset’). A brief review on structural theory, asset and risk management practices and heavy vehicle provisions will be provided to provide context to this discussion. It will include examples to demonstrate concepts followed by how these learnings could be recognised in a bridge asset management regime.

Key concepts to be covered:

  • Distinction between design life, asset life, service life
  • Concept of asset consumption and sweating an asset
  • Risk management
  • Asset management strategies and know thy network
  • Use colourful PBMP loading diagram
  • Concept of working stress and limit state
  • Discussion on overstress allowances and operating in this domain
  • Discuss vehicle access, frequency of ‘overstress’ indivisible loads
  • Discuss ULS vs SLS, fatigue
  • Discuss RID, structural consequences
  • Discuss evidence other than structural risks (for example, maintenance frequency)
  • Discuss case studies (bridges on mining routes, pavement deterioration, bearings)
  • Evidence suggests that structures are being consumed, and it manifests in different ways
  • Implications for managing indivisible loads (that is, you don’t get something for nothing).

Next Generation of STREAMS® Smart Motorways

Andrew Paynter
Chief Technology Officer, Transmax Pty Ltd

Transmax’s award winning STREAMS® ITS platform is a leading motorway management platform in Australia. Based on our capabilities, STREAMS was selected to trial its solution on the I-25, 14 miles of freeway running south of Denver, Colorado in the United States. This paper describes the work to-date of applying this technology to a ‘brown fields’ site that has been running only rudimentary ramp metering. It describes how congestion, travel time and safety will be improved by the ALINEA HERO algorithm – the ramp metering algorithm running in many freeways around Australia.

Also discussed are the traffic engineering insights gained through the real-time and historical view of the behaviour of a freeway, provided by a modern user interface underpinned by cloud architecture and data analytics. The impacts of incidents, of lane changing behaviour and obvious and not-so-obvious causes of congestion are presented. Transmax has used this as an opportunity to create new user interface visualisations supported by a new data store stack. The intention of this investment is to bring this visual analytics technology back to benefit the Australian market. Real-time heat plots of the freeway are analysed and the as-measured fundamental traffic engineering diagrams are compared against the theory. The potential benefits for the Australian market are also discussed.

V1 Stage E – Designing and Constructing one kilometre of elevated Cycleway through a heavily developed urban area.

Asrar Peer
Senior Engineer, BG&E Pty Limited

The Veloway 1 (V1) is a dedicated cycleway designed to connect people riding bikes between Lower River Terrace, South Brisbane and Eight Mile Plains, adjacent to the Pacific Motorway. Through 2015-2016 BG&E worked collaboratively with the Department of Transport and Main Roads to develop the Preliminary and Detailed Design of Stage E of the V1. Construction on the $45 million Veloway 1 Stage E project commenced in late September 2018. Stage E is the largest single package of works to date and will provide approximately 1.4 kilometres of dedicated grade separated cycleway between Birdwood Road, Holland Park West, and Gaza Road, Tarragindi. The project was made highly challenging by the need to provide this facility through an urbanised area of Brisbane. The available project area was a slither of land wedged between the Pacific Motorway to the east and high volume local roads, local businesses and private property to the west. Significant pedestrian underpasses (PUP) exist within the site and the developed nature of the area meant that constructability around these sensitive assets was a key challenge. An innovative and highly collaborative approach to the design was required to overcome these challenges.

This presentation will focus on:

  • Early innovation when progressing from the reference design to the preliminary design phase that saved in the order of $5 million
  • The collaborative design approach with utility owners that minimised impacts on PUP wherever possible
  • Addressing the unique needs of cyclists on a geometrically complex bridge structure
  • The design of large Super T spans of up to 40m
  • The design of large ‘hammer head’ piers cantilevering over an existing road and built in a spatially constrained corridor to allow the alignment to be accommodated
  • Key learnings from the design process and through construction phase feedback

Development of Corridor Safety Plans: A North Coast Region Case Study

Andrew Pine
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

A recent study identified that Eumundi Noosa Road would not be a priority for any form of traffic capacity upgrade in the next 10-20 years based on the predicted traffic demands. Similarly, there are no planned or committed investments which might influence change in the strategic function of the road. Recognising that the demonstrated crash trends are likely to continue over this 10-20 year period, the North Coast Region and the Safer Roads team have collaborated to develop a Corridor Safety Plan targeted at reducing the risk of future crashes along this link.

Development of the Corridor Safety Plan was based the Austroads’ Road Stereotypes process and follows a similar approach that was successfully adopted for the Bruce Highway. The Corridor Safety Plans process considered incremental safety improvements based on the provision of Safe System aligned treatments to identify an optimum corridor cross-section to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes.

Eumundi-Noosa Road represents a case-study demonstrating the benefit of incorporating this process into corridor planning with a view to the development of a Targeted Road Safety Program funding submission encompassing the basic road safety requirements for the full length of a road link. This process can be applied to other corridors through planning activities to ensure that the safety vision is well defined and delivered by project scopes, to achieve consistent road safety outcomes across the network.

How Artificial Intelligence creates valuable insights in Road Construction and major capital works programs

David Porter
Managing Director, Founder &  Executive Directorr, Octant AI

Coung Quang
Technology, Founder and Executive Director, Endeavour Programme

Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps organisations planning and delivering major capital works programs, including road projects, to improve capital productivity and portfolio risk management. AI can also help the construction community and project owners and financiers to predict cost, time, revenue and margin outcomes and help derisk project delivery.

In a recent NACOE project using road data, OctantAI helped reduce portfolio cost and time forecasting errors by up to 87% and provided early warning of problem projects up to 35% faster than conventional methods. This presentation will discuss recent work with TMR data where Octant AI could offer up to 10% improvement in capital productivity for the capital investment program. 

Smart Crossings (SX) Project- Performance Assessment Component

Shivakumar Raman
Principal Engineer (Electrical), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Laurie Petersen
Design Manager, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Smart Crossing Project is rolling out on-crossing detector technology at selected intersections across Queensland in partnership with Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) District leads, with technical support provided by the TMR Engineering and Technology Branch.

Standard signalised pedestrian crossings may implement a walk time (pedestrian phase) that is a little too short for slower pedestrians. Fixed pedestrian phases can also result in unnecessary traffic delays when pedestrians have cleared the crossing. On-crossing detectors provide the necessary inputs to allow traffic signal controllers to either shorten or extend pedestrian clearance times, allowing vulnerable road users to cross safely while maintaining efficient network operations.

A performance assessment of this technology, implemented strictly under the Traffic and Road Use Manual Guidelines, will be undertaken. It plans to make use of CCTV analytics to capture real-time data to determine time wasted and time gained for vehicles and pedestrians at a selected set of crossings in Toowoomba and South Coast Region.

This performance assessment aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of traffic signal timings before and after the installation of the smart crossing technology. Through assessing the intersection performance, the aim is to confirm whether the current operational approach is optimal, and if not, to identify possible improvements for current and future projects.

Exploring Driver Behaviour to Shape Better Road-user Experiences

View Presentation

David Rankin
Major Projects Director, WSP

What if we could submit designs to behavioural and usability testing to see and understand how the community will interact with a transport corridor? Could we improve end-user experiences and shape better outcomes for our future communities? This paper explores how combining project design data, engineers, behavioural science methodologies, and visualisation technologies helped shape a better experience for end road users on the Bruce Highway Interchange Upgrade – Maroochydore Road and Mons Road project.

The user-centred design approach enabled in-depth exploration with 48 different drivers and 244 drives through the interchange, testing various design scenarios to ensure the end look and feel aligned with a more comfortable, safer experience for drivers/road users. Using these tools, we learned how customers respond to design aspects, how we could improve their experience, and how customers’ experiences impact the road’s safe operation and its maintenance.

Delivering long-term benefits for the local community was a central focus of the Bruce Highway Upgrade – Maroochydore Road and Mons Road Interchanges project. This meant challenging the design to uncover deeper insights into its impacts on drivers’ experiences. Combining people-focussed design principles including visualisation, behavioural and usability testing, helped us comprehensively understand how the community interacts with the road and what design elements might be more (or less) effective.

Managing the Risk of Road Construction on Reactive Soils

Peter Reynolds
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

In the field of road design and construction, expansive soils are problematic materials. Clay minerals within expansive soils are subject to large volume changes when exposed to water, and conversely when they are exposed to prolonged periods of drying. The surface movements resulting from the wetting or drying of an expansive soil can cause distress to structures that are founded on them.

For state roads in Queensland, underestimation of the geotechnical risk associated with expansive soil foundations and embankment materials continues to create safety and serviceability issues for road users and high maintenance costs to the road authorities and the community. The aim of this presentation is to review the current Department of Transport and Main Roads approach in managing the risk of building roads on expansive soils. It will also introduce a new tool that has been developed under the National Asset Centre of Excellence (NACoE) program of research that will give further guidance to road planners, designers and managers of maintenance works for all state-controlled roads.

Using Recycled Materials for Earthworks and Drainage

Peter Reynolds
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Recycled materials such as demolition rubble, glass, ballast and ash from power generation, are increasingly becoming a viable option in civil construction in Australia and abroad. The use of such materials reduces the need for mining raw materials, makes civil projects more sustainable and reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Some of the challenges of using recycled materials include managing potential environmental impacts, controlling via specification the quality and durability of the recycled materials to ensure comparative performance with raw materials, and the economics of supply.

This presentation will discuss the findings to-date from collaborative research between the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR). It will focus on the current approaches in road construction around Australia, as well as oversees, regarding the use of recycled material for earthworks and drainage applications. It will highlight the most commonly used materials and look at how road authorities are specifying properties to manage quality and environmental risks during supply and placement.

The performance of a trial of recycled crushed glass as a bedding/backfill material for conduit trenches on a recent TMR construction project will also be discussed.

In the context of current industry practices, the presentation will highlight a road map for the future recycled material options for earthworks and drainage applications, including the implications for TMR’s technical specifications such as MRTS04.

Key aspects of the new AUSTROADS Drainage Manual (Guide to Road Design-Part 5)

Christopher Russell
Director – Hydraulics & Flooding, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Mark Babister
Managing Director, WMA Water

Bill Weeks

The Austroads Guide to Road Design (AGRD) – Part 5 is the key for road drainage design best practice for State Road Authorities and Local Government throughout Australia and New Zealand, and has been a key part of road drainage design for many years. Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) is the key document for technical flood studies in Australia and is published by Geoscience Australia.

ARR has been recently revised and updated in a major project to provide best practice guidance for all aspects of flood analysis. Following this revision, the Austroads guide has been the subject of a major review and update to bring it into line with best-practice runoff estimation techniques in ARR.

The update has included a significant review of runoff estimation methods used in road drainage design to ensure they are in line with best-practice. For example, one significant change in method relates to limiting the use of the Rational Method for flow estimation in road drainage applications, but giving practitioners alternative methods in accordance with ARR. A major enhancement is that the AGRD now provides consistent best practice guidance for all regions of Australia, including consistent advice for all regions of Queensland. This presentation will outline the process for the revision as well as the key change implications for road designers.

Bus or bust – managing congestion through integrated bus priority measures

Liz Schofield
Director (infrastructure), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Vincent Doran
Executive Director (Service Planning and Infrastructure), Department of Transport and Main Roads

As South East Queensland’s population continues to grow, so do customer expectations for improved mobility and journey reliability. However, these expectations can be challenging for government to meet due to increasing road congestion and constrained infrastructure funding.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is responding to these current network challenges by planning and delivering bus priority measures along a number of key public transport corridors. These initiatives are customer focused, data informed and technology enabled–delivering urban mobility balanced with local contexts. Through the blending of technology, infrastructure, policy and services, targeted and integrated bus priority will elevate TMR’s public transport offering by improving journey times, reliability and network productivity.

Safety and Economy in the construction of Highway Bridges

Hossein Shamsai
CEO, Quickcell Technology Products

The presentation will include a brief introduction of the Quickcell Wide Flange Super I Girder and basic thoughts behind the invention. The available time would not allow for a technical engineering presentation, however during the brief Q & A, questions will be attended to as time permits. During the presentation, the latest updated Technical Manual will be provided, which caters for the technicality of the invention.

The superiority of the Quickcell Wide Flange Super I Girder will be compared with a few examples of other known similar products. The presentation aims to remove the perception from the designers that these Girders are suitable only for constructing long-span bridges, but to demonstrate that the girders are very much economical in standard size bridges, compared with T-Girders. It is also worthwhile to mention that the Quickcell Wide Flange Super I Girders are environmentally friendly as they use 30% less concrete.

The durability of bridge components used today needs to be addressed for the safety of bridges now and into the future. The Quickcell Super I Girders do not have any hidden cavities, unlike other systems, therefore they are able to be inspected and maintained for safety purposes. Bridges with hidden cavities could harbour problems that may not be picked up during normal inspection and maintenance programs. From an economic point of view, bridge designers would require less girder numbers per span width due to the girder’s very wide flanges, resulting in considerable cost-savings per project. The most important feature of the Quickcell Super I Girder is the highest degree of safety for the long-term life of the bridge.

Anatomy of a Disaster

Peter Shaw
Specialist Technical Engineer, Structures, Department of Transport and Main Roads

At face value, the release in February 2020, of the Coroner’s Report into the deaths of four people on an amusement ride, has no implications for the Department of Transport and Main Roads. However, similar enquiries into the causes of fatalities due to bridge collapses in Canada (de la Concorde Bridge) and Italy (Lecco Bridge) reveal some disturbing similarities. The owner organisations believed that they had the appropriate procedures and systems in place to manage risk and avert disaster. Inquiries into the disasters revealed the inadequacies in those systems and procedures resulting in the potential for prosecution of the people involved.

The presenter will dissect the findings and highlight lessons for asset managers covering topics including: organisation culture, role of engineering and new technology, missed opportunities, responsibilities and accountabilities, governance, risk management, communications, record keeping, policies and procedures.

Providing Industry Leading Safe Lane Availability

Brett Simpson
Road Operations Manager, Brisbane Motorway Services

Brisbane Motorway Services (BMS) is responsible for the operations and maintenance of one of Brisbane’s largest iconic pieces of infrastructure – the Gateway Bridge and associated motorways. An icon of Brisbane which up until recently held two world records. BMS is responsible for the safe passage of over 320,000 motorists per day. It is BMS’s goal to connect road user communities of Brisbane with confidence. Confidence they will reach their destination safely and confidence they will reach their destination in a timely manner.

BMS provides Traffic Incident Management Services (TIMS) to several Queensland Motorways. TIMS staff work in and around live traffic in a high risk and high speed (uncontrolled) environment to provide first response to various traffic incidents involving medical response, firefighting and vehicle recovery.

BMS is a disruptor and innovator in the TIMS industry and maintains the motorway in such a way that it is statistically the safest in Australia. BMS has continually achieved 99% KPI Benchmarking and successfully managed over 20,000 critical incidents without affecting their perfect zero lost time injury record. BMS identified poor road user compliance to reduce speed conditions. Without the support of flashing blue/red strobes the business had to come up with innovative ways to improve visibility and change driver behaviour. The following innovations have been introduced by BMS over the last 18 months.

  • Introduced Australia’s first Electroluminescent Livery to the TIMS industry facilitating 20% improvement in reduced posted speed compliance.
  • Designed Australia’s first warm weather hi visibility load bearing vest compliant to AS/NZS 4602 and 1906.
  • Implemented Australia’s first Motorcycle Traffic Response Unit improving on scene response time by 30% and improving reduced posted speed limit compliance by 80%.
  • Introduced remote controlled operated plant such as Lawn Mowers and currently designing world’s first autonomous recovery device for broken down vehicles.

The Structures Maintenance Performance Contract – 10 years of State-wide delivery

Mark Steedman
Principal Manager – Structures Management Services, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The State-wide Structures Maintenance Program (SSMP) was created to improve asset management of the state-owned road structures. Prior to the first SMPC, inspection of structures was poorly coordinated and lacked consistency which exposed TMR to unacceptable levels of risk. RoadTek was engaged as a preferred supplier to partner with Program Delivery and Operations in the development of a program to improve the asset management of structures. During the last 10 years of SMPC delivery, RoadTek/SMS has driven a continuous improvement strategy which has resulted in the implementation/achievement of many significant innovations.

Thermal Video-Based Automatic Incident Detection: A Trial on QLD Roads

Christopher Stockwell-smith
Senior Advisor (traffic Systems), Department Of Transport And Main Roads

All over the world, major roads suffer from highly increasing traffic density. This leads to daily accidents, a larger risk for secondary accidents and long traffic jams. Traditionally, basic detection systems, such as loops and radar, provide ample information to direct traffic flows and assemble statistics–but their information is limited. In modern times, increasing traffic volume and complexity have created a need for more optimised systems: video detection systems. Automatic Incident Detection (AID) systems have the potential to improve the safety of the road network by providing earlier feedback to road managers as well as road users. The Department of Transport and Main Roads has implemented a trial of video-based AID to determine the accuracy and effectiveness of the technology in detecting various traffic-related incidents.

Cairns Western Arterial Road – Slope Remediation

Jun Sugawara
Director (Geotechnical), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Heavy and prolonged rainfall events in early 2019 caused a major slope failure of the existing slope along the Cairns Western Arterials road. The failure caused significant damage to the road embankment and the sugar cane rail track located at the toe of the embankment. Urgent slope remediation and the rail track restoration were required to maintain the road safety and undertake necessary preparation works for the sugar cane rail prior to the beginning of the harvest season in June 2019.

A collaborative Department of Transport and Main Roads project team, comprising representatives from Far North District Office, RoadTek Far North District and Engineering and Technology Geotechnical section worked very closely to tackle this challenging project. The team provided the practical solutions without compromising safety, and implemented the remediation work within 4 months. This project received excellent feedback from a local MP which was posted in the Cairns Post dated 20 May 2019.

Protecting right turning traffic: An alternate approach

Samantha Taylor
Contract Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Andrew Oudyn
Traffic Systems Coordinator, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Filtered right turns are installed at signalised intersections enabling the right turn movements to occur without the green arrow to reduce delay at the intersection. However, filtering results in higher right turn and cross traffic crashes and may reach an unacceptable level that results in the reactive removal of filtering to improve safety of the intersection.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads’ Road Safety Policy requires for new and upgraded signalised intersections to have protected right turn lanes on the major road, and filtered green arrows for right turns to be excluded unless justified through a risk assessment. Regardless of the risk, right turns must be fully controlled:

  • If the sight distance is restricted by opposing right turning traffic
  • If the turning vehicle is crossing more than two lanes of opposing traffic with an 85th percentile speed greater than 50 km/h
  • If the right turn is across more than three lanes of opposing traffic.

Where existing sites with filter right turn movements exist outside of the above requirements, a prioritisation program should be developed to reduce road safety risks. Fully controlling right turn movements protect right turn traffic from conflicting with opposing traffic and is the preferred treatment at signalised intersections. However, providing fully controlled right turns can adversely impact on the capacity of the right turn movement resulting in longer queue lengths at peak times. Where the existing lane configuration cannot cater for increased queue length, high-cost civil works are required to lengthen the turn pocket to accommodate peak traffic flows.

Preliminary analysis of crashes on Queensland roads indicated that approximately two-thirds of right turn through crashes at signalised intersection occur outside of peak times. Therefore, an intermediate step towards full control is removing the filtering at all times other than peak periods. Allowing filtering only during peak times negates the need to modify the right turn lane or other capacity improvements, resulting a much lower cost solution that can be applied to several intersections (rather than spending a large amount of budget to reduce all right turn through crashes at one intersection).

The removal of filter right turns outside of peak periods is being piloted at six intersections within Far North District. The sites have been selected based on crash history and the existing infrastructure able to cater for the fully controlled right turn.

Making the most of unbound granular pavement layers

Hechter Theyse
Technical Director, GHD

Full-depth granular pavements with spray seals or thin asphalt wearing courses form a significant portion of the Australian, and specifically the Queensland paved road network. This presentation focusses on how the particle size distribution of unbound granular material affects the compaction potential, stiffness, shear strength and permanent deformation of unbound granular pavement layers.

The concept of an ideal particle size distribution is introduced and the effect of deviating from this ideal grading on the compaction potential of unbound granular material is illustrated. The significant difference in the compaction potential of materials with gradings on the coarse and fine side of the ideal grading is also highlighted. Data are presented to illustrate that falling-hammer type of compaction–such as standard and modified compaction effort–does not mobilise the full compaction potential of high-quality, continuously graded crushed rock. Specifications that are based on these compaction efforts therefore do not optimise the compaction and performance potential of these materials.

Most mechanistic-empirical pavement design methods relate the rutting of full-depth granular pavements to the subgrade vertical strain. However, a large portion of the surface rut of these pavements originate from the unbound granular base and subbase layers where the material is subject to high shear stress conditions. Again, the effect of particle size distribution on the stiffness, shear strength and permanent deformation of unbound layers is illustrated, and a grading based, performance related classification of unbound granular material is formulated from these results. Finally, the potential variation in the properties and performance of unbound granular pavement layers is considered in the context of the Department of Transport and Main Roads specifications for these materials.

The Digital Future of Slope Risk Assessments – A 3D Case Study

Ian Thompson
Principal Geotechnical Engineer, Civil Geotechnical Consultants

The Department of Transport and Main Roads uses a 3-Stage program of slope identification, assessment and risk mitigation of all slopes within their road network. As part of Stage 2 of this program the instability risk is assessed using the New South Wales (NSW) Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) Slope Risk Assessment (SRA) Version 4 methodology. This is completed in the field by developing hand drawn plans and sections to assess hazards, triggers, consequence and ultimately risk to the road user.

The advent of remote mapping technology is continually improving the accuracy of information capture and monitoring of slopes. By implementing remote mapping workflows using technology such as Remotely Piloted Aircraft (drones) in the SRA process, subjective bias can be significantly reduced to provide improved levels of detail and accuracy compared to what current processes achieve.

Use of this technology to develop 3-dimensional models of high risk sites allows the site risks, issues, and hazards to be identified, mapped, measured and recorded with greater detail than has previously been possible with a traditional slope hazard record.

This presentation identifies applications, advantages, and results of remote mapping for high risk sites when incorporated into the Slope Risk Assessment process.

Climate change and infrastructure sustainability

View Presentation

Claire Thorstensen
Manager (Sustainability), Department of Transport and Main Roads

There are an increasing number of physical and political drivers at the international, national and state level to recognise and respond to climate change risks. At the international level, commitments have been made to keep global temperature increases to well below 2°C. Highlighting the importance of this commitment, the top five global risks for 2019, identified by the World Economic Forum, are all in the environmental area, including: extreme weather, natural disasters and biodiversity loss. The Australian Annual Climate Statement for 2019 confirmed that 2019 was Australia’s warmest year on record, Australia’s driest year on record, and that the national annual accumulated Forest Fire Danger Index – an indication of the severity of fire weather – was the highest on record.

In response to these drivers, and in accordance with state policy, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is delivering a sustainability assessment for all projects over $100 million. The sustainability assessments are to drive and incentivise economic, social and environmental outcomes for Queensland communities, and include a climate change risk assessment and consideration of climate change adaptation measures.

To support these measures a Climate Change Risk and Adaptation Assessment Framework, and Engineering Policy – Climate Change Risk Assessment Methodology have been developed for use by infrastructure projects. These provide guidance for operationalising climate change risk assessments and incorporating into TMR’s standard Risk Management Framework. The documents support implementation of the infrastructure sustainability assessment process. A climate risk and adaptation workshop for the M1 North and M1 South program of work was leveraged to produce the framework, and as a case study demonstrates how the framework and methodology are used.

Project DNA – Cross River Rail’s unique and innovative approach to 3D Digital Engineering

Russell Vine
Executive Director, Cross River Rail Delivery Authority

Cross River Rail is Queensland’s largest infrastructure project and–when completed–will transform how people travel to, through and from the Brisbane CBD. It is one of several major projects underway that are helping Brisbane to continue evolving as a world-class city.

The project comprises a new 10.2-kilometre rail line which includes 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnels under the Brisbane River and the CBD, four new underground stations, eight re-built aboveground stations and three new stations on the Gold Coast. Each of Cross River Rail’s new stations will also generate unique opportunities for urban renewal, economic development, the revitalisation of inner-city precincts as well as new employment opportunities.

Join Russ to hear about the Cross River Rail Digital Network Approach – a 3D geospatial map of the project corridor mixed with a 3D model of the project as a built environment that Cross River Rail uses to explain how the project is being built and how it fits with the existing and future landscapes.

Building a Mini Boat Harbour in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: The Clump Point Experience

Chris Voisey
Project Manager (Marine Special Projects), Department of Transport and Main Roads

In 2006 and 2011 the Mission Beach community and its boutique tourism industry was shattered by the landfall of Tropical Cyclone Larry and Tropical Cyclone Yasi respectively. Following these events, state and federal funding was allocated to investigate and build a new marine infrastructure facility to support the restoration of marine tourism in the area. The Department of Transport and Main Roads’ (TMR) marine infrastructure delivery expertise was called in to provide advice on the project to DSDMIP in May 2016, and TMR eventually took over full delivery of the project in March 2017.

There were significant risks and issues to be overcome to successfully deliver this technically challenging project, in a high value environmental and cultural heritage area. The project included a boat ramp upgrade including two floating walkways, a reclamation and carpark expansion, an upgraded access breakwater, a detached 140m breakwater protecting an access jetty, 2 berthing pontoons, 6 pen berths and 5 swing moorings. TMR’s Marine Infrastructure project team took the project from concept to delivery and had many learnings along the way, which are the focus of this presentation.

Benefits of triple blend stabilised subbases in Queensland and its design application for the Landsborough Highway widening and strengthening project.

Damian Volker
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Triple blend pavement stabilisation utilises a combination of lime, cement and fly ash additives. Since 2014, triple blend stabilisation of subbases has had a resurgence within the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR). Engineering and Technology Branch has been developing both pavement design principles for its application and, in collaboration with our TMR district laboratories, developing a laboratory mix design process.

The use of the three additives allows a greater range and variability of material types to be structurally improved which has made triple blend stabilisation an attractive cost-effective option for our TMR Districts.

The first part of this presentation by Damian Volker introduces triple blend stabilisation and the various ways it has been applied on a number of TMR projects. This includes the design principles and 350mm depths during construction. The second part of the presentation will be from Alex Dixon discussing a specific example of how triple blend was applied to design the upcoming 40km Landsborough Highway widening and strengthening project in the Central West District. 

Utilising a Triple Blend subbase for a widening project presents advantages over a traditional ‘box out’ and widen as the entire subbase is a single homogenous layer. There is also less requirement for pavement material which is advantageous in western areas, where gravel is becoming harder and more expensive to source. Triple blend’s benefit is inherently increased through the development of detailed 3D models which allow in depth quantity analysis. During the Landsborough Highway project, our designer was able to model the existing pavement, and subsequent cut back and triple blend profiles. This enabled the quantities to be analysed and the grade line to be optimised. This ensures the triple blend process maximises the use of existing materials, conserving valuable gravel resources.

The 3D model also provides significant benefit to construction. Quantities of excess and additional material required can be broken down into construction lots. The contractor therefore understands the quantity of material required for each lot which assists in reducing waste in construction. This ensures a truly engineered product is delivered, where the ratio of pavement to expansive subgrade can be determined, providing a higher degree of certainty the constructed triple blend subbase will meet design tolerances and intent.

Benefits of plant-mixed foamed bitumen stabilisation

Damian Volker
Principal Engineer, Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has the largest amount of foamed bitumen stabilised pavements in Australia. Since 1997, more than 600km of existing pavements from state controlled roads in Queensland have been rehabilitated using this technique which can be performed by two methods; insitu using existing material or exsitu manufacturing (plant-mixed / pugmill) and transported to site.

Since 2012, TMR has been developing the Plant-Mixed Foamed Bitumen (PMFB) stabilisation technique for pavement base materials, in consultation with the Australian stabilisation industry. In recent years PMFB has been used in the construction of new pavements and rehabilitating a growing number of council roads and airports across the country. The technique has provided a more flexible and fatigue resistant stabilisation treatment suitable for Queensland conditions. Several projects have been constructed using this PMFB technique. Performance of this treatment to date has been encouraging.

Provided that proper investigations, optimum mix designs and quality control in construction is carried out, superior long term performance and lower maintenance cost are possible using the foamed bitumen stabilisation technique, as compared to other more conventional stabilisation treatments. The aim of this presentation is to highlight the benefits of the PMFB treatment.

AAPA SF4A – Embedding Sustainability in Asphalt Procurement

Norbert Michel
Executive Director VIC/TAS, Australian Flexible Pavement Association

Asset Owners are driving sustainability in the roads sector with purchasing policies of Government already setting criteria and expectations for project evaluation. The asphalt sector has welcomed the drive for sustainability initiatives (including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, using waste as a resource and circular economy principles) resulting in the Australian Flexible Pavement Association (AfPA) National Strategic Project “Sustainability Framework for Asphalt (SF4A)”. Support towards this national project was received from Queensland Transport and Main Roads (TMR) as part of the AfPA and TMR Strategic Alliance.

For road infrastructure projects above $100m, Infrastructure Sustainability Council (IS Council) has set the standard for assessing sustainability performance. The SF4A aims to be complimentary to the IS Rating Tool and to be useful to smaller road construction projects.

Managed by start2see and with contributions from more than four states, three components of the Sustainability Framework for Asphalt (SF4A) have been developed as a toolkit which guides assessment for Plant, Organisation and Project, leading to a point-based ranking outcome that can assist asset owners to differentiate between suppliers and their products.

This presentation will provide an overview of the AfPA Sustainability Framework for Asphalt components, with a focus on:

  • Providing a Sustainability Framework for assessing and ranking bituminous product organisations, plants and products in Australia, allowing stakeholders to set metrics and benchmarks to reduce environmental impacts.
  • Facilitating the adoption of best international practice for improving sustainability in the bituminous products sector by linking the SF4A to procurement frameworks and other available tools.
  • Applying the framework to continually improve the potential use of sustainable products, processes and organisations, leading to reduction of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, maximised use of RAP and
    other secondary materials (i.e. suitable “waste” products such as glass, crumb rubber, plastics).
  • Providing insights relating to potential introduction of the framework into Government and private company contracts and projects, allowing for clear and balanced selection and assessment of asphalt contractors and
    their asphalt supply chain.

Video and predictive analytics for improved transport safety and operations

Simon Washington
Chief Executive Officer, Advanced Mobility Analytics Group Pty Ltd

Advanced Mobility Analytics Group (AMAG) has developed the world’s first Safe Mobility Alert Real Time (SMART) Digital Platform—delivered via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), to support Vision Zero and Safe Systems policy goals globally. The platform uses video analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, and advanced econometrics techniques to address the challenge of predictive analytics for road safety and operations.

AMAG has partnered with Microsoft Research, Iteris, and Jacobs to deploy their SMART digital platform in the state of Florida (US) and the city of Bellevue (Washington). Established in June of 2019, AMAG is a rapidly growing company currently with employees in Canada and the US. AMAG is a Queensland, Australia registered company, and is continually building and improving technology focused on end-to-end transport network safety management.

The Diagnostic Risk Mitigation-Video Module (DRM) uses advanced video analytics with AI algorithms, deep learning, and advanced econometrics to measure and detect a variety of interactions among road users (e.g. vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.) that are reliable predictors of future crash risk, offering insights into road improvements that will prevent future accidents from occurring.  The DRM is applied to diagnose the safety and operations of intersections, roundabouts, school zones, ramps, etc. The DRM module provides diagnostic insight into crash risk and road user operations, including predictive crash risk by crash type, pedestrian and cyclist risk, road user violations, user flows and speeds, and heat maps of risk by time of day, location, user type, etc. The DRM module also maps crash risk to typical mitigation measures so that governments can readily improve the operation of intersections and reduce crashes.

This presentation provides an update of the SMART Platform for road safety and operations, how this technology works, and provides a short demonstration of the capability of this exciting technology for addressing road safety and operations challenges.

Asset Management Intelligence Tactical and Operational Dashboards

Norah Weatherby
A/manager (digital Asset Capability), Department of Transport and Main Roads

Michelle Baran
Manager (Strategic Asset Management), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Digital Asset Capability initiative within Transport System Asset Management has adopted a customer driven approach in developing clever ways to assist staff to make more informed and timely decisions through the delivery of business intelligence dashboards. 

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) plans, manages and delivers integrated transport infrastructure across Queensland to achieve sustainable transport solutions. Decision making relating to these tasks needs to account for performance, risk and cost. Critical in supporting road network decisions are our asset information systems and supporting analytic platforms. The ability to extract data from legacy information systems and the use of contemporary data integration and analytical tools, along with cloud based technologies, has enabled the delivery of easily understandable information into the hands of managers, planners and field operators so that they can make thoughtful decisions.

There are two types of dashboards being delivered: those that guide tactical decision making including the State of the Asset Dashboard, and those that provide information supporting day-to-day operations such as the Pavement Layer Dashboard.

The State of the Asset Dashboard provides information on how TMR’s infrastructure assets are performing. The State of the Asset Dashboard supports the State of the Asset Report, but also provides a data-driven inventory of TMR’s assets–along with asset trend information–and is an interactive tool to help all members of TMR find asset, condition and performance related insights.

The Pavement Layer Dashboard provides pavement layers, depth and job information in-field to support on-the-spot decision making with rehabilitation and surfacing jobs.

The Digital Asset Capability initiative has enabled data to be transformed into information to enable effective asset decision making at the strategic, tactical and operational levels. This has been achieved by adopting a customer led approach whilst developing the Asset Management Intelligence Dashboards.

TMR’s Definitive Network

Justin White
Principal Advisor, Department of Transport and Main Roads

Creating a virtual integrated transport network accessible to everyone is the aim of the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Spatial Strategy. Central to this is The Definitive Network – a spatial data product that provides an authoritive, multi-level and 4-dimensional (x – longitude, y – latitude, z – height and t – time) view of the Queensland transport network. This network will be the foundation dataset that almost all other data within TMR will be linked to. The aim over coming years is for users across TMR to have access to a complete and maintained 4-dimensional line-based transport network, with pockets of highly detailed data derived from geospatial survey, road design and building information modelling (BIM). This network dataset provides a spatial source of truth for use in infrastructure and service planning, design, delivery, operations and maintenance.

Breakwater Reconfiguration to Mitigate Shoaling at the Mooloolaba Harbour Entrance

Peter Wood
Manager (Infrastructure Delivery), Department of Transport and Main Roads

The Mooloolaba State Boat Harbour is located at the Mooloolah River entrance on the Sunshine Coast. The harbour is the base for the Brisbane Marine Pilots, two commercial marinas, commercial fishing fleets and a major launching point for recreational vessels. Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) is responsible for maintaining navigable access into the harbour and engages a dredging contractor when sand accretes in the entrance during a shoaling event, restricting access.

Historically MSQ has utilised a wave buoy and real-time sediment transport model to predict shoaling events and mobilise a dredge accordingly. This management strategy has been effective because of the episodic and infrequent occurrence of the shoaling events. In the last ten years entrance shoaling events have increased in both frequency and duration making MSQ’s existing management strategy less effective, generating more frequent impacts on navigational conditions. For this reason, consideration of an alternative solution to reactive dredging in the entrance channel is needed.

This presentation will discuss the results of the extensive numerical and physical modelling undertaken to support a new entrance configuration options study. The study found that the preferred solution is the construction of a 60m extension to the eastern harbour breakwater. We will also discuss the detailed design process for this structure, the risks involved, and the complicated logistics associated with the construction of the breakwater extension.

Paver laid insutu pavement recycling

Scott Young
Technical Manager, Stabilised Pavements Of Australia

Recyclers have introduced to Australia a new innovation in pavement recycling and road construction using new and innovative pavement recycling techniques through paver laid insitu pavement recycling.

Foamed asphalt and heavy duty pavements are new modes of pavement recycling technology in Australia. Pavement recyclers has invested in the W380CR which is the latest machinery capable of producing foamed asphalt and heavy duty pavements, providing a more efficient, cost effective and sustainable alternative to conventional practices. The foamed asphalt product is a hybrid pavement using the best qualities of the more established and competing methods of pavement rehabilitation currently used in Australia – combining the recycling benefits and superior performance of insitu foamed bitumen stabilisation with the paving method and appearance of conventional asphalt.

Trials of paver laid insitu pavement recycling conducted in NSW in 2020 have revealed the following benefits to asset owners:

  • Prevention of the excavation and waste of existing material
  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduced by approximately 60%
  • Total truck movements, the distance traversed over the existing pavement network, and fuel consumption reduced by approximately 75%
  • Foamed asphalt provided economical savings between 30%-50% when compared to conventional and competing rehabilitation alternatives
  • Significantly reduced impacts and disturbance to residents and local communities from high production rates up to 800 tonnes/hour achieved by the capability to recycle large lane widths up to 3.8m wide. This equates to daily productivity improvements of more than double compared to other techniques producing similar rehabilitation outcomes
  • Works undertaken in a single machine pass per lane, providing improved site safety from significantly reduced reversing movements
  • Utilisation of paver-placed technology uniformly placed recycled material, ensuring precise and controlled surface levels and eliminated the need for a grader
  • Foamed asphalt and heavy duty pavements were opened to traffic at the completion of each shift

Unifying Traffic Modelling and Safety Management for Safer and Faster Roads

Zuduo Zheng
Associate Professor, The University Of Queensland

This project aims to balance two conflicting goals of transport systems mixed with connected and automated vehicles (CAVs)-road safety and efficiency. This project is expected to generate fundamental knowledge on operational algorithms and analytics for CAVs and develop innovative tools for operating them. Expected outcomes include ground-breaking models capable of the co-estimation of efficiency and safety impacts of CAVs, and control strategies to safely and efficiently integrate CAVs into existing transport systems. This should provide significant safety and efficiency benefits that currently cost about 1160 lives and 1.25 billion hours of congestion per year, and make Australia better prepared for the connected and automated vehicle era.

Mirco Connect

Micro Connect provides data communications equipment for the traffic signals industry. Australian based on premise electronics manufacturing facility and highly skilled design engineers. A dedicated software team for our custom designed Roads Connect platform. Bluetooth travel time and vehicle priority systems.

Li-Tech Solutions

Wom-Batt offers a smart, long-lasting, theft-proof solar charged power storage solution for all off-grid utilities. Underground power pods that use LiFePO4 technology to sustainably deliver high performance with zero running costs.

Wom-Batt currently powers many TMR roadside systems, with applications including solar streetlights, flood monitoring systems, road signage and more.


We are a global professional services company that leads through engineering, constructionand architectural expertise. Our forward-looking and innovative approaches connect and sustain communities around the world. Delivering extraordinary social and economic outcomes, we are focused on building lasting relationships with our partners and clients


Aerometrex is a geospatial tech company with expertise across high-resolution spatial data, derived products, and analytics, from 3D models, LiDAR and 2D imagery. The company’s data solutions have supported some of the country’s most critical infrastructure projects, and its MetroMap platform offers data as a subscription and off-the-shelf.


Ingal Civil Products is Australia’s leading manufacturer and supplier of highway safety barriers. We pride ourselves on having made a significant contribution to the safety on our roads. Our product range includes MASH compliant road safety barriers, carpark & industrial barriers, workzone & traffic control products, delineation and fencing products.


RETEX is a market leader of specialised road and pavement maintenance systems, specifically developed to enhance road safety and extend pavement service life.

RETEX offers:

❖ Skid Resistance Water Blasting -UHP Water Cutting to sealed surfaces

❖ Laser Texture Depth Assessment

❖ Line Removal & Pavement Cleaning

Environmentally friendly, RETEX can fully capture all waste products and remove them using certified waste management procedures.


PPG is an extremely diverse company with a global portfolio of businesses and product lines; more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates; operations in more than 70 countries around the globe; and nearly 47,000 employees of wide-ranging nationalities, cultures, religions, ethnic, professional and educational backgrounds


Schréder is a global leading independent outdoor lighting solution provider. Schréder Australia comprises of Sylvania Schréder, Austube Schréder, and SCS -local providers of outdoors and customised indoor lighting solutions. We believe that lighting can empower people, impact lives, support communities, and transform spaces, cities, and the planet. Sylvania Schréder's lighting products adhere to the highest production standards, setting the benchmark for road, infrastructure and sport lighting in Australia. SCS is a trusted Smart cities solution systems provider that delivers reliable, scalable, and sustainable solutions to make cities smarter.


Insitutek was founded to transform geotechnics, earthworks and pavement construction. We are doing this through insitu testing methods and soil stabilisation. We help you get clear insight on what’s going on below the surface so you can make better informed timely decisions using our “best of breed” insitu testing methods. We deliver long lasting sustainable soil stabilisation solutions for soil improvement.

Ennis Flint

Ennis-Flint is the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of pavement marking materials. We believe saving lives is a serious business; our commitment to this endeavour is reflected in the quality and performance of our products, people, and processes.


There’s more to BRAUMS than ever before. BRAUMS continues to deliver the world’s best Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and connected traffic management products. BRAUMS now delivers pedestrian, roadway, and urban lighting solutions, above ground radar detection and enhanced traffic management, along with Smart City solutions and parking management systems.


Damar is a market leading manufacturer of quality roadmarking technologies including paint, coloured surfacing, cold applied plastic and our world first UV Curing roadmarkingsystems. Innovation is at the heart of our business. Please visit our website to learn more about product range.


12d Model is powerful civil engineering, surveying and terrain modelling software for use on a wide variety of projects including mapping; site layouts; road, rail and highway design; residential and land developments; and drainage/sewer design.

12d Synergy is a data management and project collaboration package which has been used to great acclaim on projects such as NorthConnex and TSRC.

Global Synthetics Pty Ltd

Global Synthetics is an Australian owned and operated company, and a leading distributor and manufacturer of a wide range of geosynthetic products to service the civil engineering, construction, landscape and building industries in the Australasia and Pacific Regions.

“Our qualified engineers and experienced staff are committed to deliver the highest level of quality services and complimentary engineering support to provide cost effective solutions for all your geosynthetic requirements”

Downer EDI Works Pty Limited

At Downer, our customers are at the heart of everything we do.

Our Purpose is to create and sustain the modern environment by building trusted relationships with our customers.

Our Promise is to work closely with our customers to help them succeed, using world-leading insights and solutions. With a history dating back over 150 years, Downer designs, builds and sustains assets, infrastructure and facilities and we are the leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand.

At Downer, we are committed to providing high-quality services to our Federal, State, Local Government and commercial clients, delivering construction and maintenance of flexible and rigid. Downer has a proven history of successfully delivering these services under managing contractor, design and construct, ECI head contract and construct only commercial models.

Downer also provides expert project management services, engineering advice in soil and pavement stabilisation, capital infrastructure upgrades, pavement recycling, and outsourced facilities management of road networks and associated assets.


netBI is a leading SaaS cloud data platform and BI solution, specialising in the development of advanced AI and ML algorithms to deliver deeper data insights.

netBI is the most trusted data platform and business intelligence tool for organisations that manage transport, public transit, and road networks. We can help any business leverage complex datasets and simplify their data stack with one, web-based solution.

Combine, clean, analyse, and easily explore your historical and streaming data drawn from any source or system. Finally, you’ll have accurate, timely, and contextualised insights for better reporting and planning, and smarter operational decision-making.


SAGE Group is a global company with an extensive national footprint and 500+ people. As an integrated industrial digitalisation services provider, SAGE has built a suite of solutions designed to support clients to accelerate their digital journey, with the perfect balance of technology, process and capability.

SAGE delivers technologies that are creating accessible, integrated and cutting-edge transport and smart cities solutions; from end-to-end transport projects, data capture and analysis, congestion management and complete asset operations and maintenance. Their work helps improve end user’s road experience, reduce life cycle costs, lessen environmental impact, and prepare our transport systems for the future. And whether you need to upskill your internal capability or access additional talent, SAGE can help to give your organisation the momentum to succeed.

SAGE recently acquired AddInsight, the traffic intelligence software already deployed in all Australian and some New Zealand road authorities, to monitor traffic congestion. SAGE will continue to deliver against existing AddInsight commitments with a focus on service, technical excellence, and the added benefit of their SAGE Edge hardware and software integrations. SAGE’s global coverage, local delivery philosophy means their best people are already on the ground in every state and territory in Australia.

connected light solutions

A proud division of the Beacon Lighting Group, Connected Light Solutions are a leading provider of smart city and building solutions, including LED lighting and smart control systems. Working with leading brands from around the globe, we utilise the latest technology to develop market leading products for our local customers with internationally proven reliability.


Puma Bitumen is one of the largest global suppliers and modifiers of high quality bituminous road binders that meet and, in many cases, exceed all Australian specification requirements. Our passion for innovation ensures we stay at the forefront of industry developments. We have the most complete footprint in Australia with supply points in Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Perth and Melbourne, supported by our fleet of bulk bitumen vessels, the largest in the wold. Combined, our assets, expertise and global footprint ensure we are the strongest end-to-end supplier into the Australian industry.

HDR PTY limited

HDR provides valuable connections through innovative and forward-thinking solutions. For more than a century, we have partnered with clients and industry to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our experience spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 200 locations around the world—and counting. Across Australia, our 200 strong team provide engineering and architecture services which harnesses our global capability under our broad-based employee ownership model. In Queensland, we offer a comprehensive range of transport planning and design services with direct experience across all stages of the project and asset life cycle. We’re proud to work with TMR, local government agencies, contractors and consultant partners to deliver for our community.

australian road research board (arrb)

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) is the National Transport Research Organisation.

We are the source of independent expert transport knowledge, advising key decision makers on our nation's most important challenges. We have earned a reputation for scientific integrity and are the leading providers of value-added applied research and technical services.

ARRB’s mission is firmly focused on creating knowledge for tomorrow's transport challenges and solutions for today.

We work with road agencies, all levels of government, academia, and companies in the private sector.

When you work alongside ARRB, you get experience, expertise, and a trusted advisor. And that equals peace of mind, allowing you to focus on results. Regardless of scale or the level of technical complexity, ARRB delivers specialist expert advice, responsiveness and support you can rely on –each and every time

Skip to content