The NorthConnex Motorway is the missing link in the National Transport Network, improving freight access, connectivity and reliability across Western Sydney, and removing up to 5000 trucks per day from Pennant Hills Road to reduce congestion and pollution.
NorthConnex is a 9km twin tunnel linking the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at West Pennant Hills in Sydney, Australia. The project was delivered by the Lendlease Bouygues Construction Joint Venture to Transurban, the motorway operator. Teaming up with Layer2Intelligence (L2iQ), the SYSTRA-2iQ team was engaged to support Testing and Commissioning of motorway subsystems. In addition, the SYSTRA Bamser team was appointed during the tender phase to assist with construction planning and constructability advice, and during the delivery phrase to provide specialist surveillance officers for surface construction works.
SYSTRA-L2iQ’s work involved tracing the requirements of the Motorway subsystems from the project contract to functional specifications and providing verification of this in the form of tests performed. Testing activities included developing Traffic Monitoring and Control Systems (TMCS) test procedures and Test Specifications. The TMCS includes traffic control devices such as Tunnel Message Signs, Over-Height Vehicle Detection System and the Motorist Emergency Telephone System which are all overseen by the Dynac SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system.
The team’s engagement was extended to work with the Dynac software provider, Kapsch, in managing software testing and defects. This role included prioritising and tracking the close-out of the defects, forecasting which defects need to be closed out next and providing Release Notes as a declaration of the defects fixed. With a variety of defects such as those arising from software performance issues, software design changes and non-compliance with the contract, this was a crucial aspect in keeping the Testing & Commissioning cogs running. Other tasks included Centre-to-Centre testing of communication between the NorthConnex Control Centre and the Traffic Management Centre to ensure a smooth communication link between the Motorway and the rest of Sydney’s traffic during potential traffic incidents.
Bamser were engaged during the tendering phase to assist Thiess John Holland JV with construction planning and constructability advice. Specifically, Bamser provided support in the following areas:
- Identification and selection of potential construction sites;
- Using knowledge from past projects and participation in the government project approvals process to develop appropriate site layouts and access for both tunnelling and back end works;
- Preparation of risk assessment documentation for site selection;
- Preparation of drawings and method statements for tender submission;
- Using Bamser’s understanding of equipment capabilities and rates to develop efficient excavation methods and staging;
- Development of back end works methodologies and programming. Particularly optimisation of pavement design and sequencing;
- Drawing on experience to provide realistic production rates for excavation and back end works to assist in the development of the construction programme and costings;
- Development and assessment of tunnel waterproofing methods and design; and
- Sourcing of tender pricing for major procurement items.
Bamser were also engaged during the delivery phase to provide specialist surveillance officers for surface construction works to manage the project in the following areas:
- Draw on learnings from similar large infrastructure projects to review and comment on the contractor’s design and safety procedures;
- Witness and report on construction works for compliance with the design, quality procedures, and safety performance;
- Review quality documentation and approve design changes through the Request for Information and Non-Conformance Report process;
- Use Bamser’s understanding of productivity rates to interrogate the contractor’s programme and advise the client on activity conflicts and risks to the project duration; and
- Develop contract notices to record and close out concerns related to design, quality, and safety
Bamser’s performance and experience resulted in the role expanding into providing further delivery support to the in-tunnel pavement and services fit out works.
Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, SYSTRA teams delivered on their obligations and the NorthConnex opened in late October 2020. It is the missing link in the National Transport Network improving freight access, connectivity and reliability across Greater Sydney. NorthConnex is designed to the highest safety standards and helps to bypass one of NSW’s most congested routes, Pennant Hills Road.