The Fence

First stage of Stapley Drive bridge underway in Varsity Lakes

One hundred and seventy-two bridge deck units, each weighing more than four fully grown African bull elephants, will be lifted above the M1 at Varsity Lakes over the next year as part of upgrades at Stapley Drive (exit 84).

The project, which begins, is part of the M1 upgrade between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said the new higher and wider bridge would be built in stages.

“A new bridge is being built next to the existing structure and will allow traffic to continue to travel on the existing Stapley Drive overpass,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Once this work is complete, we will switch traffic from the old overpass to this new bridge later in 2018.

“We will then demolish the existing overpass and start the process of building the second stage of the bridge.

“The two sections will be joined together to create one new higher and wider bridge that meets current design standards and projected traffic volumes.

“We’re working with limited space in this area which is why we’re not able to build a completely new bridge north or south of the overpass.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the new Stapley Drive bridge was expected to be fully operational by mid-2019.

“This is great news for people on the Gold Coast, and while there will be short term pain due to construction, it really is a case of long term gain for motorists,” Mr Bailey said.

“Projects like this one also mean jobs for locals, and boost the surrounding economy significantly.

“There will be some lane closures with local road detours while the bridge decks are installed, and we’d like to thank everyone in advance for their patience as we improve the M1 on the Gold Coast.

“For everyone’s safety we will be doing this work at night.”

Member for McPherson Karen Andrews said upgrades on the M1 were progressing well since work began on widening between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes.

“Since construction started in April 2018, work has been moving ahead on earthworks and clearing, fencing and surveying the site—this is great news for motorists who have waited years for these vital upgrades,” Mrs Andrews said.

Member for Forde Bert van Manen said the works would support further upgrades on the M1 between Varsity Lakes to Tugun and Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill.

“The Australian Government is committed to busting congestion on the M1, ensuring Queenslanders can get home sooner and safer rather than sitting in traffic,” Mr van Manen said.

Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said building the bridge was complex.

“By building the new bridge in stages, we can reduce the impacts on the local community and keep the existing overpass open to traffic,” she said.

“The first stage of works will include installing bridge deck units each weighing 26.8 tonnes that are 24.46m long, 900mm deep and 596mm wide.

“Crews will also be pouring concrete slabs, building parapets, installing anti-throw screens and laying pavement.

“While the 172 deck units will be precast off-site for this work, the job will require about 630m3 of concrete to be poured on site over the entire bridge deck.”

Between 12 and 22 August 2018 (weather and site conditions permitting) the bridge deck units will be installed on the southern side of the existing overpass.

Source: Australian Government

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