The project involved a full track upgrade along a 27km corridor passing through Elizabeth from Gawler Central to Mawson Lakes and was a critical component of the South Australian Government’s Rail Revitalisation Project.
John Holland took out the top gong at the Civil Contractors Federation Earth Awards held on July 14 – an annual event that recognises the development and use of best technologies and practices by South Australian civil contractors.
John Holland project manager Sevan Simonian said despite the project being “inherently challenged” by complex interfaces, a highly compressed program, a geographically diverse site, vast environmental contaminants and significant safety risks to workers and the public, the project team exceeded client expectations “on all fronts”.
He attributed the project team’s industry-best performance to the spirit in which they undertook the work
“Collaboration is key,” Sevan said, “Working closely with the client from start to finish makes all the difference to project success. It allowed us to quickly resolve issues and to successfully manage 17 critical interfaces which resulted in minimal disruption to the public.”
A core part of the award was demonstrating environmental excellence in parallel to construction excellence. Environmentally, the project team’s performance was excellent as re-affirmed by the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s audits.
Key achievements included:
- A highly compressed program – 54km of track was delivered in a 26 week period. This means 2km of reconstructed track was delivered per week -  a 33% increase in workload and productivity when compared to the previous upgrade.
- Environmental excellence – All materials excavated were treated as contaminated. The team maximised recycling / re-use of materials wherever possible which resulted in more than $20 million worth of savings to the public.
- Safety excellence – There were significant risks involved with operating next to the live ARTC freight line and the project needed to manage and protect a workforce of 150 personnel working simultaneously along a 27km corridor. Despite significant risks, the team achieved zero lost time due to work related injuries.
- Significantly improved train running speeds – The team improved the turnout design and track centre spacing which improved running speeds from 90 km/h to 110 km/h.
- Use of leading technology – The team introduced an innovative approach to track construction using 3D models for formation, bottom ballast, top of rail and drainage.
- Innovative thinking – The dilapidated condition of the network presented a number of challenges to overcome in geotechnics, rail and turnouts. The team created solutions that met the design life requirements whilst keeping spending to a minimum.
- Significant reduced the need to purchase new rail – Provided advice and solutions in the Early Contractor Phase that minimised the need to purchase new rail and established criteria for remediation. This saved significant costs to the client.