Tourle Street
SectorTransport, Utilities, Urban
ClientRoad and Maritime Services
LocationTourle Street, Kooragang Island, Newcastle
DurationApril 2016 - July 2018
Contract Value$51.1M

McIlwain and WBHO Joint Venture was awarded the $51M Tourle St & Cormorant Rd duplication in March 2016. The project consists of 3.8kms of road upgrade from single to dual lane carriageway, including a 340m 11 span bridge over the Hunter River, to cater for the 33,000 vehicles which travel along this busy corridor daily.



340m bridge, 11 spans, 2 lanes
55No x 35m length Super T Girders up to 80t
Removal of demolished bridge remnant piles
3.8km roadworks
Widening of Tourle Street and Cormorant Road from 2 to 4 lanes
Retaining Walls & Spillage Traps 
Rehabilitate contaminated land  
Pre-load/ surcharge embankments 
140No x 400sq x 25m long Precast piles 
6000 m3 concrete & 1000t steel 
10,000 tonnes asphalt 
50,000 tonnes HBB (cement modified base)
Water infrastructure 2.5km


The bridge consists of 77No reinforced concrete steel lined piles, constructed predominantly over water in the Hunter river using a 35m barge, 150t crawler crane and piling rig. The land based piling on the southern bank of the river was through highly contaminated landfill; the remains of Newcastle’s historical steel industry. This was managed extremely well with no environmental issues or incidents. 
A 55m barge with 600t crawler crane was utilised for the sub & super structure works to cater for the erection of the 80t Super T Girders. The substructure was completely submersed in water and as such required some significant innovation to enable construction without the use of standard techniques such as cofferdams.
A reinforced precast concrete shell was constructed and floated out in to position over the piles. This temporary structure became a component of the permanent works and as such was designed for the full design life of the bridge, however this component added significant challenges for the Project delivery team trying to seal watertight the temporary structure.
Underwater welding was employed on some piers to ensure this was successful. S. Steel reinforcing was used in all substructure elements above water.  Early works included pre-load road embankments along both Tourle Street Bridge and Cormorant Road, which provided structural settlement of the soft alluvial underlying soils.
The permanent works would be constructed on this once the pre-load had settled sufficiently. The project team showed initiative in implementing design changes which allowed the expedited settlement periods and ultimately reducing overall construction program. Altering the original staging plans also allowed significant amounts of carriageway to be constructed prior to the bridge opening.
3.5kms of Vertical Concrete Barrier (VCB) was carried to extremely high standard with nil reworks required. The safety culture of the team was a major factor in the successful delivery of the project. The team placed a large focus on “Lead Indicators” to mitigate all potential risks on the project; workshops were frequently held to discuss the safest and most effective methodology of high risk activities. Nil LTIs occurred on the project.
The project team also faced a number of environmentally sensitive issues including the removal of highly contaminated spoil, management of mangroves and protection of the endangered green and golden bell frog. The team liaised closely with both EPA and RMS to ensure these critical items were managed seamlessly; this was evidenced by the continual “green” rating obtained at monthly environmental audits.
The delivery team displayed an excellent commitment to the quality delivery of the works in accordance with RMS’s extremely high standards. With 33,000 Vehicles Per Day, and servicing a major operations precinct for the largest coal loading facility in Australia, the project team ensured the traffic staging, management plans and VMPs were extremely well prepared and implemented. Any incidents are swiftly managed by the team, with regular letters from the public expressing their gratitude for the way in which traffic is being managed.
Kooragang Island is a major industrial and employment centre in NSW and is part of the worlds largest coal export port. This project will ensure the corridor has the capacity to support the future growth in traffic.


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Transport, Urban

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