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A Bridge Over Doubled Water Crossing


The Major Roads Project Authority in Victoria are currently working on the Western Roads Upgrade project, in Truganina, about 26km south west of Melbourne. The objective is to provide easier vehicular access to nearby Tarneit train station as well as other services, as surrounding suburbs are expanding with 40,000 new homes.

Along the Leakes Road—between Derrimut Road and Fitzgerald Road—precinct of the project, civil contractors Winslow Infrastructure are adding an extra road lane in each direction, upgrading 18 intersections, building new walking and cycling paths, building a new overpass for the already-established Federation Trail, and widening the existing Skeleton Creek and Laverton Creek bridges.

At the Skeleton Creek segment, Winslow were experiencing a safety challenge for giving workers pedestrian access from one of side the creek to the other. The existing road bridge had no footpath and using the narrow road itself was perilous, with a constant flow of heavy haulage vehicles present.

Winslow contacted Melbourne height access specialists SafeSmart Access for a temporary yet well weight-rated answer.

After a site assessment and study into compliance requirements specific to Victorian worksite and road environments, SafeSmart’s Dean Strange got to work to brief the in-house design team for a footbridge. The resulting design was configured utilising SafeSmart’s engineered Proscaf scaffolding system. The high strength components, in particular the load bearing braces, meant that the complete bridge could be made up using Proscaf, with no additional materials such as ladder beams required.

Additionally, the locking rosette connections of the system allowed the bridge to be safely built on the ground and then craned into place over the creek. This reduced install time and greatly increased the safety factor of the build – it eliminated the requirement for workers to be installing parts in-situ over the creek. The entire system was delivered by SafeSmart to the Truganina site within deadline, and after assembly was completed and signed-off by on-site scaffolders, it was easily craned into place in three main components, and then secured efficiently and effectively; Winslow’s workers were easily walking over the creek at will, in order to access different parts of the site, fetch tools and the like.

Thanks to Proscaf’s modular nature, uneven terrain was no problem to get over and when Winslow needs to reposition the system further along the project, it is easily done by the client and their crane, whilst remaining compliant to VicRoads Section 613 (which “specifies the requirements for the design, and erection of falsework required to facilitate construction of the permanent works and the subsequent dismantling and removal of falsework”).

Winslow’s Jose Basilio is extremely happy with the Proscaf system.

“SafeSmart were extremely easy to deal with,” says Jose, “and the versatility of the Proscaf bridge means that we can ask SafeSmart to provide other systems for different types of obstacles; it went in quick, and it’s quick to move, so it doesn’t delay our deadline in order to adhere to safety obligations.”

The Western Roads Upgrade program is due for completion in mid 2021.