Designing solutions that create value
Captain Cook Bridge rehabilitation
The department is currently undertaking maintenance and rehabilitation works on the Captain Cook Bridge, an iconic piece of Brisbane infrastructure. Works started in mid-2019 and are expected to finish in late-2021.
The 555 metre long structure was opened to traffic in 1973. The traffic loading on the bridge is significantly higher than expected when originally designed (up to 145,000 vehicles per day) which has led to some wear and tear.
The project involves:
- replacing deteriorated bearings with new bespoke spherical bearings designed by the department and manufactured in Germany specifically for this bridge
- inclusion of load sensors within the componentry of the new bearings – a Queensland first
- other structural works, such as thickening the sides of the box girder to ensure its longevity
- use of a custom made, 27-tonne, temporary work platform that was specifically designed and installed from a floating barge beneath the Captain Cook Bridge to facilitate these maintenance works.
This rehabilitation work to strengthen and provide improved safety on the bridge will ensure that it can meet future traffic loads, at an approximate cost of $26 million.
Downfall Creek Bridge Rehabilitation
The department undertook rehabilitation works on the 18 metre Downfall Creek bridge on Gympie Road, Chermside. Works were completed in nine weeks between March and May 2020. The work involved sealing more than 500 linear metres of cracks in existing concrete deck units, installing a waterproof membrane and deck wearing surface, as well as strengthening the structure using carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer.
This is the first time carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer was used in the Brisbane region for the rehabilitation of a bridge. It was chosen because of the site conditions and width of cracks in the concrete. The project leveraged the expertise of the University of Queensland to provide technical guidance and knowledge, through the department's Structural Engineering Academic Agreement.
This was a complex rehabilitation project on a bridge critical to the main northern arterial road into Brisbane.
These works cost approximately $500,000 and will extend the life of the structure which carries approximately 67,000 vehicles per day.
The department has invested innovative data management and analysis techniques to provide greater insights into the causes and cost of congestion. This includes developing two new methodologies which have been implemented into operational tools.
Causes of congestion: This methodology seeks to understand the causes of excessive delays across our motorway and arterial network, whether due to vehicle crashes, weather events, roadworks, or bottlenecks. This helps to target operational activities and investment in locations that will provide the most benefit.
Cost of congestion: This methodology quantifies the economic cost of excessive delays due to the above factors, informing response decisions, and helping justify improvements.
These two methodologies are supported by data management and dashboarding which offers the department insight into network performance from a network-wide view down to individual links and corridors. Being able to identify specific performance issues, localised improvements, and network optimisation can be undertaken.
Next Generation Traffic Signal Controller
The Next Generation Traffic Signal Controller (NGTSC) project will provide Queensland with an innovative new way of managing traffic, placing the department at the forefront of traffic signal control management internationally.
The new controller will bring both operational and cost benefits, with an expected initial purchase price saving of at least 10 per cent compared to existing controllers, including reduced costs for ongoing maintenance.
The first two NGTSC trial controllers were installed at Reedy Creek Road on the Gold Coast in August and September 2019. Monitoring at these sites has shown they are performing well.
Improving transport operation systems
To help improve the efficiency and accuracy of the department's transport operation system, the Road and Passenger Transport Incident Detection (RAPID) Proof of Concept processed real-time road and passenger transport data from existing department systems combined with new and emerging data sources. Various capabilities were tested by the correlation of multiple data sources to automatically detect incidents and identify specific bus services impacted by road incidents.
RAPID Proof of Concept was undertaken through the department's Data and Business Analytics Program in 2019 and focussed on South East Queensland.