International design experts to strengthen Westgate Bridge

By: Graham Gardiner


Victoria’s Minister for Roads and Ports Tim Pallas has announced that two companies will complete the complex design and planning

Victoria’s Minister for Roads and Ports Tim Pallas has announced that two companies will complete the complex design and planning to strengthen Melbourne’s Westgate Bridge.

VicRoads and design firms Flint and Neill Partnership (FNP) and Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) have joined a collaborative alliance to deliver the first stages of the project.

Pallas says the Westgate Bridge is an important piece of Victoria’s transport infrastructure.

"The Brumby Government has invested $120 million in this strengthening project, under a comprehensive management plan to cater for future traffic volumes and vehicle loads on the bridge," he says.

The strengthening project is part of the Monash-CityLink West Gate upgrade, a leading transport solution to Melbourne's most trafficked and economically important transport route.

Pallas says the $ 1 billion Monash City Link Westgate upgrade, which is already well under way, will reduce travel times and increase safety on this corridor.

"The project includes an extra lane in each direction, a state of the art freeway management system to actively manage traffic flow and dedicated lanes for traffic from the tunnels back to the bridge," he says.

"Due to the importance of the Westgate Bridge a rigorous selection process was undertaken to appoint the firms to design the strengthening project.

"FNP and SKM were selected due to their collective expertise and experience in the design and analysis of steel bridges.

"SKM and London-based FNP, world renowned for its work on similar bridges, will work in an alliance with VicRoads for a period of 12-14 months to ensure the design and planning process meets all safety, operational and maintenance requirements.

"The design and planning phase is a critical element in the process leading up to the strengthening of the West Gate Bridge. Following the planning, works on the bridge are scheduled to commence in early 2007."

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