Roadheader gets to work on Cross River Rail

Tunnelling has officially begun on Cross River Rail, with the first roadheader assembled and digging out underneath Roma Street.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the occasion marked a major step for the Brisbane rail project.

“Above ground demolition has also been underway for several months at the site of the new station – but today is a huge milestone for this project as we start tunnelling for the first time,” she said.

“This is just the beginning of the underground works, with 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnels and four underground stations to be excavated in total.”

The roadheader was assembled at the site, 18 metres below ground, and is beginning to excavate the 280m long station cavern.

Now underway, the roadheader can excavate up to 50 tonnes of rock and soil an hour, with disruption protected by the acoustic shed at ground level, which stands five storeys high and is 60m long.

Local Queensland company QMW was involved in the manufacture of the roadheader, supplying the cabs. The locally made cabs and remaining five pieces were lowered into the shaft with a gantry crane and then put together underground.

The 22 metre long and 115 tonne roadheader is the first of two machines that will be working at Roma Street.

As work underground progresses, more and more people are working at the various Cross River Rail sites. Already 1,800 people are employed as part of the project, with the total expected to reach 3,000 when the project is at its construction peak in two years.

State Development Minister Kate Jones said that the project is critical to Queensland’s economy.

“Multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects like Cross River Rail are vital to Queensland’s economic recovery following COVID-19,” she said.

“Coronavirus has had a huge impact on our economy. But we won’t let it derail Queensland’s largest infrastructure project.”

Once complete, Cross River Rail will include 5.9km of tunnels and four underground stations. Roma Street station will be 27 metres below ground and replaces the former Hotel Jen building and Brisbane Transit Centre.

Currently, one floor a week of the Hotel Jen is being demolished.

Watch: Footbridge removed in 47 hours for station construction

47 hours of continuous work has removed a pedestrian footbridge in the Brisbane CBD, to make way for the new Roma Street station, part of Cross River Rail.

A works blitz commenced at 7pm on Friday, March 27, and by Monday, March 30, the six metre above ground concrete bridge was gone, replaced with a pedestrian crossing.

The 30m-long bridge, built in 1986, was structurally attached to the Brisbane Transit Centre, which is being demolished.

The machinery involved in the demolition included a 47-tonne excavator with mechanical pulveriser, a 20 tonne excavator with hammer, a High Reach demolition rig with Hammer, an 80t Grove mobile all terrain crane and a 25t franna crane.

CEO of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, Graeme Newtown, said that every precaution was taken to ensure that construction for the Cross River Rail Project continues.

“Our safety measures ensure we keep this project working, and this is vitally important given the project employs almost 1,800 workers across eight work sites and injects over $2.8 million per day into our economy,” he said.

“This is another example, of safe and well-executed work to keep our project moving.”

The bridge was closed on Monday, January 13 and prior to the demolition information was distributed to local residents and businesses and commuters who use the Brisbane Transit Centre. The footbridge is located in a busy area of the CBD through which 3,500 pedestrians and 3,00 vehicles pass on a combined average weekday morning and afternoon peak.

A new pedestrian crossing needed to be established quickly for the approximately 2,500 people who cross from Hershel to Roma Street in both directions during an am and pm peak.

Major works continue on Cross River Rail

Throughout April, works will be progressing on the Cross River Rail project.

The CBGU joint venture, made up of CPB Contractors, BAM, Ghella, and UGL, will be carrying out the design and construction works for the Roma Street, Albert Street and Boggo Road stations.

At Roma Street, works will continue on the demolition of Hotel Jen, East and West Towers. This involves, the disconnection of utilities, scaffolding work, and structural demolition. Additionally, the former coach terminal access ramp will be demolishing during April and May 2020.

Tunnelling work at Roma Street is also taking place, with the establishment of the site progressing. Works include constructing the tunnel access shaft, installing an acoustic shed, and bringing in tunnelling plant and equipment.

At Albert Street, work will increase during April as piling begins on the demolished Lot 1 site. Excavation of the tunnel shaft will begin at Lot 2, and during this time piling finishes and an acoustic shed will be constructed. These works involve traffic and footpath closures on Mary Street and Albert Street.

Excavation work in the heart of the Brisbane CBD work will involve rock breaking, removal of excavated material, and ground stabilisation and retention work.

The underground Boggo Road station will be where the Cross River Rail project at its southern terminus connects to the existing rail network. During April, major works will continue there as the excavation of the station box begins. Site office buildings will be constructed onsite, along with internal roads and paths. Utility services will be relocated and some pedestrian movements will be disrupted. The play equipment at Outlook Park will be moved closer to Dutton Park State School.

All work on the Cross River Rail project will follow Australian and Queensland government health advice in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19), however as an essential service, work will continue as planned.

Demolition for Roma Street station begins

The Hotel Jen building is now being demolished to make way for the Cross River Rail in Brisbane.

The building will be replaced by the Roma Street station, and is the first of three buildings to be demolished at the site, said Minister for Cross River Rail Kate Jones.

“Today marks a huge milestone for Cross River Rail. This project is crucial to avoiding a bottleneck in the future.”

Jones outlined the impact that this work would have on the Brisbane and southeast Queensland rail network.

“It allows us to run more trains more often across the whole of southeast Queensland. We expect that with Cross River Rail in place, an extra 47,000 people will choose rail instead of road by 2036.”

The Hotel Jen was opened in 1986 as part of the Brisbane Transit Centre, however the precinct is due for an overhaul with the new station, said Jones.

“Construction of the new Roma Street station will create jobs for Queenslanders, and breathe new life into the area which has become underutilised and run down.”

Roma Street will be one of four new underground stations, which comprise the core of the Cross River Rail project. At Roma Street, the new line will connect with the existing rail network in the Brisbane CBD.

Cross River Rail demolitions begin

The first stage of demolition for the Cross River Rail has commenced, Cross River Rail minister Kate Jones announced on Wednesday. The demotion of the Brisbane Transit Centre will make way for the planned Roma Street transport interchange.

Cross River Rail is now well into the delivery phase, and demolition is a large part of the works. An 85-metre tower crane will be used to bring down three buildings at the site, including Hotel Jen, the East Tower, the West Tower and then the podium they sit on. Each building will be demolished level by level, which will take up to a year.

According to Cross River Rail Authority’s program director David Lynch, speaking at the AusRAIL event in early December, the Roma Street station is “Brisbane’s primary intermodal connection.”

“It is also the next natural extension of the CBD area and a prime redevelopment site. It is the site of the proposed Brisbane Live,18, 000 seat stadium – the business case of which is currently under government consideration,” Lynch said.

Market sounding for Brisbane Live will kick off in early 2020, and according to a government spokesperson will “trigger even stronger investment appetite in the new Roma Street precinct.”

According to the Cross River Rail Precinct Strategy, Roma Street is set to become “the western gateway to the City’s premier cultural and entertainment offerings.”

“While the precinct benefits from its proximity to a range of destinations, there is still significant potential for growth in lifestyle and knowledge industries including greater professional office space, stronger physical links east to the CBD and west to Caxton Street and the Suncorp Stadium,” according to the strategy document.

As such, the Cross River Rail project’s focus at the site will be to facilitate it as the key arrival destination for the central CBD, and the western gateway to the City’s premier cultural, leisure and entertainment offerings

This will include significant upgrades to the station interchange for CRR, Metro and bus services.

Priority area declared for Roma Street

Development will be facilitated around a future train station at Roma Street in Brisbane, with the establishment of a Priority Development Area (PDA) around the site by the state government.

Planning minister Cameron Dick said on December 13 the approximately 32-hectare PDA would fast-track development and delivery of the new underground station being built as part of the Cross River Rail project.

“The new Cross River Rail Roma Street station will be the city’s pivotal arrival point, linking passengers with the existing interstate and suburban rail, the busway station and proposed Brisbane Metro station,” Dick said.

“There will be unique opportunities for urban development, economic stimulation and job creation. It will provide critical public transport connectivity between the precinct and the city centre and to the nearby neighbourhoods of Petrie Terrace and Spring Hill.”

With the PDA now declared, Dick said the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will work closely with Brisbane City Council and the community to finalise a development scheme for the site over the next 18 months.

The Roma Street PDA follows the establishment of a similar scheme for the future Albert Street station, also being delivered as part of Cross River Rail.

Minister for Cross River Rail Kate Jones said works have begun at Albert Street.

“Demolition activities are well underway, with piling works to begin soon that will create a solid foundation for the Albert Street construction access shaft,” Jones said.

“This will be the first train station built in the Brisbane CBD in more than 120 years and will create a new landmark in the heart of the city.”