The original bridge was constructed in 1968 and was a 105m long and consisted of a transomed 7 span structure with twin steel girders supported on reinforced concrete piers and abutments.
Any analysis of options lead to recommending the complete realignment of the existing structure on a new southern alignment, between the existing structure and the northern Bass Highway bridge. The benefits of this option included improved alignment, increased load capacity, reduction in structure length by approximately 30m by widening the road embankment, certainty of outcome compared to rehabilitation and lowest lifecycle costs.
A key success factor for the Blythe River Rail Bridge was the implementation and utilisation of the VEC Planning System which is a hybrid Project Management Methodology incorporating the Project Management Methodology incorporating the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the Lean Construction Institutes last Planner System (LPS).
VEC’s modular falsework system allowed for an expedited construction with flexibilities in design accounting for site conditions. Steel work from the falsework system could potentially be used for all rail bridge projects with minor modifications.
Precast ballast retainers allowed the ballast retainers to become part of the deck formwork for pouring of the deck. This reduced the overall construction period.
VEC’s demolition methodology allowed the safest most efficient demolition of the redundant structure.
The superstructure was strengthened and jacked up, heavy duty rollers were welded onto the redundant abutments and piers and the entire superstructure was progressively delaunched directly into a loading bay where the beams were carted away for lead paint decontamination.