Redefining passenger travel in Sydney

Project

Sydney Metro Northwest

Year

2013-2017

Location
Australia
Client

Salini Impregilo

8

new railway stations

15

trains an hour

4,000

commuter parking spaces

With its gentle curve and elegant cable-stayed points the Sydney Metro Northwest rail bridge is an almost graceful structure in comparison to the busy intersection of roads below.

The Sydney Metro Northwest– Skytrain forms part of the biggest public transport infrastructure project in Australia since the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built almost 100 years ago.

The overall $8.3 billion Sydney Metro Northwest project involves the construction of a new metropolitan train line north-west of Sydney. The project addresses future travel requirements in Sydney’s growing North West region which currently has the highest car ownership levels per household in NSW.

Over the coming decades, an extra 200,000 people will move into Sydney’s North West, taking its population above 600,000, or twice the size of Canberra.

Sydney Metro Northwest will redefine future passenger travel and road congestion with trains running every four minutes at peak (15 trains an hour) via eight new railway stations, supported by 4,000 commuter car parking spaces

The project also features the first completely automated high-speed train system on the continent.

Supporting the high-speed train system is a unique ‘sky train’ curved cable-stayed rail bridge. This is the first of its kind in Australia and last year was the only project to win both the overall 2018 Project of the Year (global) and the 2018 Global Best Rail Project at the prestigious Engineering News-Record (ENR) Awards.

The skytrain bridge is one of the most technically advanced structures in the overall Sydney Metro Northwest project. The construction of a curved cable-stayed bridge across a busy road network required innovative solutions to manage rigorous design considerations.

Appointed as Design Lead for the project, SMEC’s design team was made up of local and international experts who worked closely with their client, Italian-based Salini Impregilo – an international industrial group specialising in the construction of major, complex infrastructure projects – to deliver this innovative and sustainable bridge.

The skytrain bridge is one of the most technically advanced structures in the overall Sydney Metro Northwest project. The construction of a curved cable-stayed bridge across a busy road network required innovative solutions to manage rigorous design considerations.

Located more than 10 meters above road level, the project features four kilometers of elevated rail viaduct. The 130 concrete piers spaced 39 meters apart support the rail viaduct which crosses major road corridors.

SMEC’s team in Sydney led the design work with support from their Structures team in South Africa. John Anderson, SMEC’s Functional General Manager, Structures is proud of SMEC’s engineering feat and the team that pushed the boundaries on how a cable stayed rail bridge can be designed and built.

“We worked closely and were in constant communication which was fundamental to our success. It helped us reach intelligent solutions quickly and to build valuable relationships which proved critical during more demanding stages of the project.  We aimed to engender transparency and accountability within our team and we also had a relentless focus on quality.”

John reflects on one of the key challenges for the SMEC team which was the integration of techniques and temporary works used.  The project required building precast segmental concrete bridges with the demands of cable stayed bridge construction. There were many iterations to find a construction sequence that worked and, in the end, finding a practical solution was hugely rewarding.

The project has also proudly been recognised in 2018 with a “Leading” As Built IS rating – the highest possible score for sustainability. Previously in 2015, the project also achieved a Leading Design IS rating from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) for the most environment-friendly project design and sustainability elements of its construction and design.

Images supplied by Sydney Metro
Project

Sydney Metro Northwest

Year

2013-2017

Location
Australia
Client

Salini Impregilo

8

new railway stations

15

trains an hour

4,000

commuter parking spaces

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