Innovative new bridge girder receives approval

An innovative new bridge girder has been approved for wider use in Queensland following successful trials during a major Brisbane road project in 2017.

Transport and Main Roads Acting Chief Engineer, John Oppes, said following its use on Brisbane’s Port Drive Upgrade, the Quickcell Super I-girder was listed as an approved product in two Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads documents – the Design Criteria for Bridges and Other Structures, and Product Index for Bridges and Other Structures.

Mr Oppes said it was a significant milestone for the innovative new girder.

“This means Quickcell girders are now permitted for use on a large number of future projects,” Mr Oppes said.

“It also opens the door for potentially significant cost savings on bridge projects for TMR, particularly on projects where a long span would enable us to avoid specific site constraints.

“The successful trial on Port Drive Upgrade was the culmination of a three-year collaboration between product owners Quickcell Technology Products, asset owners Port of Brisbane Corporation, designers ARUP and TMR, who worked together to produce a girder that is longer than Super-T girders currently in use.

“This attribute makes it an attractive option for bridges over rivers and rail corridors, where we aim to minimise the number of piers used, and to avoid damaging the existing underground services, whose exact location may be unknown.

“This is exactly why the Quickcell Super-I girder was trialled first on Port Drive Upgrade.”

Lucinda Drive Bridge on Port Drive, where the Super I-girder was first trialled, was designed to span existing Queensland Rail lines, making the impact of construction and maintenance a major concern.

In September 2017, a 46m, 150-tonne Quickcell Super-I girder – the largest precast and pre-stressed concrete girder ever cast in Australia – was installed on the bridge, removing the need for additional piers in the rail line corridor, and avoiding damage to the port’s electrical supply.

Working smarter for engineering innovation

TMR has been working with Quickcell Technology Products since 2014 to develop the Super I-girder in line with the Engineering Innovation in the Department of Transport and Main Roads document.

“This document provides us with a roadmap of how to work smarter when it comes to engineering innovation,’ Mr Oppes said.

“In the end our aim is to achieve the same or improved outcomes for a lower cost, in a responsible way.

“Engineering Innovation in the Department of Transport and Main Roads outlines a number of principles for identifying, evaluating and trialling innovations, which if followed, give an idea its best chance to make it in the real world.

“The Quickcell Super I-girder is a great example of how this approach has paid off.”

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