West Gate Bridge Strengthening

Westgate Bridge Strengthening Alliance, VIC

Designed to improve the structure's long-term sustainability, this $371 million project was one of the most complex, high-risk engineering design and construction projects undertaken in Australia in its time. Works included 4.8 kilometres of new public safety barriers, overhead electronic lane use signs and ramp metering signals to smooth traffic flow on the bridge and freeway.

To deliver five lanes in both directions, the outer edges of the bridge were strengthened, allowing the existing shoulders to carry traffic and the lane width to be reconfigured from 3.5m to 3.1m with 0.5m shoulders. The complex bridge strengthening works included the addition of 526 outrigger cantilever props, 400,000 bolts and 1,600 tonnes of steel fabricated into 80,000 pieces.  

Innovations on the project included the development of a bridge-specific design and loading standard, and the use of customised tension control bolts, including the development of new on-site and laboratory testing and QA procedures - both of which were an Australian first. The project also incorporated a world-first calibration method for structural modelling, using dynamic modelling and field accelerometer readings and the largest application of carbon fibre to a bridge structure anywhere in the world. This included a world-first anchorage design and the development of new Australian best practice installation methodologies.

Key Awards:

  • 2011 Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) National Earth Award for Civil Construction Excellence
  • 2011 Civil Contractors Federation Victoria (CCF) Earth Award for Civil Construction Excellence
  • 2011 Engineers Australia (Victoria) Excellence Award for Infrastructure (projects over $80 million)