The largest ever precast concrete beams to be manufactured in Western Australia have been installed on one of the state’s biggest ever rail construction projects.
Last weekend, seven 50 metre precast concrete Tee-roff bridge beams were lifted and installed as part of the Thornlie-Cockburn Link which is being constructed as part of the $34 billion Perth METRONET project.
Set to deliver 72 kilometres of new passenger rail and up to 18 new stations, the METRONET project is claimed by the Western Australian government to be the largest single investment in a rail project which its capital of Perth has ever seen.
The 17.5km Thornlie-Cockburn Link will provide the city’s first ever east-west rail link in its southern suburbs and will link Beckenham Station on the Armadale line with Cockburn Central Station on the Mandurah line.
Construction involves 14.5 km of new passenger rail between Thornlie and Cockburn, relocating 11km freight rail and duplicating 3km of track between Beckenham and Thornlie stations.
The beams have been installed on the new Ranford Road Bridge, which is being constructed as part of the link.
Each beam consists of 14,000kg of reinforced steel, 120 stressing tendons and 73 cubic metres of concrete.
They each weigh 197 tonnes and took 10 workers and two concrete pump trucks three days to manufacture.
First used in Western Australia on the Norther Bypass project in 2001, Tee-roff beams are a specifically designed type of beam which was developed in Victoria.
They have become the preferred superstructure form for bridges with a range of 20‑45 metres as they enable the bridges to have a longer span while using less material and reducing overall bridge load.
This is useful in the case of the Ranford Road Bridge, will be longer and higher to future-proof the rail corridor and will have six general traffic lanes (three in each direction), bus lanes and a shared path on each side.
The beams were manufactured by local company, Georgiou Group, at its precast yard in Hazelmere.
Seven of the 10 beams were installed over the weekend, with the last three to be installed as the project progresses.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the installation was an illustration of how METRONET was supporting local jobs and manufacturing.
She said the new bridge would deliver significant benefits.
“Ranford Road Bridge will be significantly widened from two lanes each way to three lanes each way, plus adding a new bus lane and shared path on each side of the bridge,” Saffioti said.
“This new structure will help future-proof the road network ahead of a projected increase in demand for access to surrounding businesses, industrial areas and of course the future Thornlie-Cockburn Link train station at Ranford Road.”