Monday, 17 May 2010

On the surface

Work diary log (September 2009).
The North-South Bypass Tunnel (NSBT) is the largest ever road infrastructure project aimed at addressing the existing and future transport needs of Brisbane.

The NSBT is not just the hole underground. It has many allied infrastructure on the surface that are part and parcel of its intended purpose of alleviating traffic congestion. Many of its ingress and egress features are quite obviously on the surface where they link with existing roads infrastructure.

The project also includes a range of urban enhancements to surrounding suburbs.

Some features include pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. These are all planned and designed to merge neatly with present pathways.

This project also takes into consideration the existing residential street networks and overall residential amenity.

Some residential streets had to be closed temporarily during works.

The rail transport network also plays a role in the design of the tunnel infrastructure. Therefore joins to nearby railway stations are also part of the picture.

The recently operational translink system combines bus, rail and ferry travel.
All these intersecting and overlapping transport routes had to be catered for.

That’s a no-through-road (dead-end street) on the right, which joins a pedestrian footbridge over a 6 or 8-lane freeway (behind fence with windows on left).
Again the residential amenity (in terms of noise) is taken into account here. A residential fence adjacent to pathways on split levels, are all designed neatly beside an acoustic fence of a major freeway.

That’s the pathways on split levels above.
Below gives a peek through the windows of the freeway fence, as well as landscaping features on a no-through-road.

The requirements of commercial establishments such as carparks and access driveways (above and below photos) together with pedestrian footpaths are all taken into account and interlinked with exitways from the tunnel.

Even religious establishments influence road designs.

Rail and freeway overpasses also allow for pedestrian tunnels.

Busway ramps and more footpaths. Pedestrian amenity are as important as roadways.

Links to hospitals are designed for.

Tunnels are generally clearways and off-limits to pedestrians.

Some kind of a landscaped buffer between footpaths and pavements, provides just a bit more sense of safety from the often huge and noisy machines that travel at speed along the roads.

The base for huge pylons or electronic signage hoardings utilise an existing traffic island.

Working beside roadways is always dangerous. Be visible. Be very visible.
I'd be very afraid if i wasn't.

Parkland amenity is not sacrificed nor compromised but rather enhanced as part of design.

Working under a freeway near a railway station.

Not a good photo, but i like what the sign says.
Freedom’s just another word for ...travelling?

Works on the north portal. Am not sure if those are silos or tanks.

More spaghetti. I saw above me - the ribbons of the on- and off-ramps.

The project is 6.8km length in total and includes two 4.8km tunnels linking the Southeast Freeway and Ipswich Road in the south of the city; to the Inner City Bypass and Lutwyche Road in the north and Shafston Avenue to the east.

The south portal. I think i shot this also during the tunnel run. So long ago now...

So this is the job that has kept me busy since September 2009. Well i’m bitchin’ so i must be still involved in it.
I just had a few weeks off hoping that on my return everything will have been put to bed. It somehow feels like i never went on leave.

Anyway, am here to make the final deliveries or put the finishing touches so-to-speak. I wish i could say the final words but i don’t know how to pray for my part in it to be finished.
It's a privilege to have been involved in what is the longest and most technically advanced tunnel of its kind in Australia, but i wish i am now finished with it.
The tunnel, as part of Clem7, has now been operational for the past two months.

Some tunnel facts:
Some key aspects of the environmental program of the tunnel include: Noise and vibration, Hydrology and groundwater quality, Cultural heritage, Air quality, Topography, geology and soils, Materials and resource management, Traffic and transport, Flora and fauna, Land use and planning, Social environment, Urban design, and Hazards and risk.
The jury is still out on whether the project in fact met the criteria.
Already there are grumblings about the toll to use the Clem7.
And as to whether the project also delivers on its long list of key benefits, that also remains to be seen.
As for me...
I thought i saw a light before-
ah there it is again - flickering.
is that the end of the tunnel i wonder.
(It's now May 2010).
I need a looooong holiday...

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