Bypass to the future
By MARY MANN WHEN Stuart Campbell looks over the rubble of white rock that marks the first stage of the $271 million Ballina Bypass, he sees more than a worksite ? he sees a challenge.
The project delivery manager for the bypass initial works has been working in construction for the past 19 years, and says not a day goes by that he does not learn something new.
The initial works, expected to be completed about this time next year, include the use of a technique never before used in Australia.
The works are the first stage in the bypass project, which will provide 12.4km of dual carriageway road extending from south of Ballina at the intersection of the Bruxner and Pacific Highways to north of Ballina at the intersection with Ross Lane at Tintenbar.
"The Ballina bypass is an interesting job because we are using the vacuum consolidation technique for the first time ever in Australia," Mr Campbell said.
The technique is being used to put the new motorway across some of the deepest alluvial soils in the country, which in 2005 swallowed a section of road being built by Ballina Shire Council at Teven.
The initial works includes the construction of earth embankments to carry the bypass across difficult soft soils on the floodplain, where extensive settlement is anticipated.
The contract was awarded to RTA Operations in August 2006, and work commenced in September last year.