The Gold Coast light rail project is one of the biggest public transport projects in the country, and the biggest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken on the Gold Coast. As Queensland’s first ever light rail system, it represents a major step forward in transforming the city into a modern, accessible destination.
Stage One of the project is being delivered as a public-private partnership between the Queensland Government, City of Gold Coast, the Commonwealth of Australia and GoldLinQ, the consortium appointed to build and operate the light rail system. The consortium is made up of GoldLinQ Pty Ltd, McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust), Bombardier Transportation Australia and KDR Gold Coast.
GoldLinQ was awarded the contract to design, build and operate Stage One of the Gold Coast light rail system in June 2011. This stage of the project involves the 13 km light rail corridor connecting Griffith University to Broadbeach, passing through the key activity centres of Southport and Surfers Paradise. The system is expected to begin operations as ‘G:link’ in mid-2014.
Stage One construction
In building Stage One of the project, GoldLinQ is undertaking a complex upgrade of underground services, with major maintenance and replacement of services part of the plan.
GoldLinQ is upgrading infrastructure in some of the Gold Coast’s oldest and most populated suburbs. Innovative engineering solutions used to improve these services include horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and microtunnelling, which were chosen because they represented the best engineering solutions to upgrade the services.
Project Director Simon Bradbury said the team has bored more than 2 km to date, working around the fragile network of the Gold Coast’s underground services.
“The team is tackling each new engineering challenge head on. For example in Scarborough Street in Southport, HDD has been used to tunnel 200 m underneath the street to provide new telephone conduits.
“A microtunnelling machine is also installing more than 500 m of new water and sewer pipes at a depth of 12 m below ground level across the whole corridor.”
In total, GoldLinQ’s design and construction joint venture partner, McConnell Dowell will install more than 8 km of drainage, 40 km of Telstra conduits, over 60 km of Energex cables and 7 km of water and sewerage pipes, making it Australia’s most complex single upgrade of public utility services.