R2D 6

Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1 – Project Wrap-Up

From April 2017 to April 2021, the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Rocklea to Darra Stage 1 played a central role in the lives of motorists, residents and businesses as works to upgrade the highway and create a more efficient and safer road network were undertaken.

For several members of the Bielby Team, the project has been a significant part of their working lives as they worked collaboratively with our team, stakeholders and partners to deliver a world-class infrastructure solution for one of the State’s busiest arterials.

Following project completion, we caught up with three key team members and asked them to share their experiences delivering a $400 million project comprising 3km of highway upgrades and seven new bridges across a flood-plain.

Andrew Howgate – Project Director

What did you enjoy most about the project?

The project has been twenty per cent of my career.

Looking back at the challenge of the complexity of raising and lowering the busy motorway while contending with safety, environmental, community and design issues, not to mention the day to day challenge of managing people, gives a great sense of accomplishment.

The job also had several firsts for me, an archaeological find in timber bridges, a collaborative contract as project manager, incorporation of numerous new computer-based company systems and tools and every conceivable Public Utility Plant challenge.

What was the project’s biggest challenge?

Managing an ever-changing throng of people; people coming, people going, people getting promoted, people having good times and bad, all of which are a natural part of a multi-year major project.

What about the completion of the project makes you most proud?

The project has no outstanding disputes or issues. The knowledge I was part of a team including the client, designers, contractors, subcontractors, and the community who have left an infrastructure legacy and strong relationships are something we should all be proud of.

How does it feel to have delivered a major piece of infrastructure for Queensland?

I always look forward to telling my kids I was part of building this.  They’re indifferent now, but one day I’m sure they’ll tell the “grandkids”.

What is the next project you will be helping Bielby to deliver?

I’m helping deliver numerous recent project wins as Project Director.  Watland Street to Sports Drive, Cooroy to Curra D1, and Northern Transitway are all in my remit.

Kylie May – Stakeholder Engagement Manager

What did you enjoy most about the project?

I loved working with the team. We created an exceptional culture and a tight-knit, collaborative environment that enabled us to meet our targets, operate efficiently and deliver the project to the satisfaction of everyone involved. It was also fantastic to be able to work on-site.

What was the project’s biggest challenge?

Working within a live motorway whilst proactively engaging with stakeholders, particularly during changes to construction methodology from unpredictable circumstances such as weather and construction conditions.

What about the completion of the project makes you most proud?

It was a privilege to work with some engaging local stakeholders and to help address their needs and concerns as we delivered the project. I also appreciated the project’s size and scale, including the seven bridges, and was fortunate to have seen the pitching and piling process within a live motorway.

How does it feel to have delivered a major piece of infrastructure for Queensland?

I feel proud to be a part of such a successful upgrade, which has significant improvements for the area. I hope to be back there one day if the next stage comes to fruition!

What is the next project you will be helping Bielby to deliver?

I’ll be working to support the delivery of the Northern Transitway in Brisbane. The project will provide a high-quality public transport corridor and will see 2.3km of dedicated northbound and southbound bus lanes constructed between Kedron and Chermside along Gympie Road.

Kane Clarke – Project Manager

What did you enjoy most about the project?

The working culture for R2D was superior; everyone came to work with a great attitude.  The ability of the R2D team to work towards a common goal whilst still being able to have a laugh made for a well-organised and effective environment.

What was the project’s biggest challenge?

The motorway traffic switches were perhaps our biggest challenge. Due to the narrow road corridor, the project had over seven major stages.  The preparation works would start months in advance, with the team focused on achieving the switch dates.  Once that date arrived, the entire R2D team worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure the motorway was open for traffic.

What about the completion of the project makes you most proud?

I was one of the first guys on the ground in 2017, so to see the project evolving was extremely rewarding and satisfying. It was also great to see that everyone who worked on R2D were equally proud of our combined efforts.

How does it feel to have delivered a major piece of infrastructure for Queensland?

It gives me immense satisfaction to drive through this section of the motorway and know I had a hand in its creation.  It’s something we worked really hard to deliver and should be proud of!

What is the next project you will be helping Bielby to deliver?

Topping the fantastic work culture in this project is going to be hard to beat, but I’m hoping to transfer some of our great learnings from this project to the next. We are still wrapping up the final tasks for R2D, and post that, I will have a better idea of what comes next.

About the Project

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The $400 million project was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments, each committing $200 million. The project covers a 3km section of the Ipswich Motorway between Granard Road, Rocklea to the east of Oxley Road, Oxley and included seven new bridges.

In April 2017, TMR appointed Bielby Hull Albem Joint Venture (BHA JV), a Queensland-owned joint venture, as the contractor for the upgrade.

Learn more about the project HERE

Bielby Welcomes Yvonne Hartnell to Critical New Role

Bielby Holdings is delighted to announce the appointment of Yvonne Hartnell as Planning Manager. Yvonne joins Bielby following a 25+ year career supporting the end-to-end delivery of Australian and international infrastructure projects for major contractors, including Downer, Lendlease, Laing O’Rourke and Thiess.

In her role, Yvonne will bring her exceptional knowledge and experience of planning and project controls strategy, advice and implementation to all current and future projects.

Managing Director Adam Edwards welcomed Yvonne to the team. “I am delighted that Yvonne has joined Bielby, and I look forward to the significant contribution she will make to our team and to the projects that we are privileged to deliver for our clients.”

Yvonne will be based at Bielby’s head office in Milton and is excited to join our growing organisation, “I am thrilled to join Bielby and to be part of their continued growth. I look forward to meeting the team, becoming embedded in projects and supporting the work we do to deliver major infrastructure across Australia in the civil, transport, resources and energy sectors,” said Yvonne.


Everton Park Link Road Completed

Bielby Holdings is delighted to announce the completion of Everton Park Link Road, a vital congestion easing project, connecting South Pine Road, north of the Kedron Brook Creek, to Stafford Road, east of Mountridge Street in Brisbane’s inner North-West.

The completed project will reduce traffic congestion at the Stafford Road and South Pine Road intersection and improve connectivity for cyclists with dedicated facilities linking into the ever-popular Kedron Brook Bikeway.

We caught up with Joe Damen, Project Manager, who oversaw the project, ensuring its smooth progress from site mobilisation to completion.

What did you enjoy most about the project?

I liked the size of the project, as it allowed me to get to know all our staff and workers and create a cohesive team dedicated to delivering a successful project.

The project had plenty of opportunities for professional development and growth for all our staff and workers. It included plenty of technical aspects of road construction throughout the project.

What was the projects biggest technical challenge?

The project included a major reinforced concrete box culvert structure for stormwater drainage.

The structure is 60m long on a 40 degree skew at the base of a creek bed with difficult ground conditions. Comprised of 208 precast elements weighing between 6 tonnes and 12 tonnes, it was a logistical challenge to transport the materials to the site, ensuring that we worked within the boundaries of traffic curfews.

Working in a tight urban environment also posed some challenges. Each precast element had to be delivered and unloaded into a narrow corridor between the work area and Stafford Rd without causing traffic congestion on the local road network. We then had to store precast elements on their side and a dual crane lift undertaken to install them below the new road.

What about the completion of the project makes you most proud?

This is my first project as a Project Manager, and I am very proud to have led a safe and successful project on time. I’d like to thank every team member for their commitment to ensuring that we delivered another outstanding piece of infrastructure for our clients.

I look forward to seeing the project benefit the local community and businesses while reducing congestion for road users and improving access for pedestrians and cyclists.

What is the next project you will be helping Bielby to deliver?

I’ll be working with the estimating team on upcoming projects in the road and rail sectors.

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Bielby’s Casey Doolan Completes Constructionarium Australia All-Female Build

Bielby Holdings’ Casey Doolan recently joined 20 female undergraduate and early-stage career professionals as part of Constructionarium Australia’s cohort undertaking the 2021 All-Female Story Bridge Build.

Held annually, the All-Female Build is an opportunity for Constructionarium Australia to profile the vital role women play in engineering and construction and highlight the careers and pathways available to students and early-stage career professionals from across the industry.

The program is an intensive theory and practical training course where participants work together to complete the construction of a replica 30m long, 4-tonne Story Bridge at The Construction Training Centre in Salisbury.

Participants build the structure to their schedule and methodology, managing every aspect of construction from cost control to SWMS and from traffic management plans to crane lifts. Each day they are joined by leaders from across the sector who provide invaluable insights, advice and knowledge designed to help them fast track their knowledge and understanding of infrastructure delivery in Queensland.

Casey Doolan

Casey is an Environment and Sustainability Advisor for the Watland Street to Sports Drive project, as part of the Pacific Motorway (M1) Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill upgrade. We caught up with her to find out more about how she enjoyed her time with Constructionarium Australia.

What did you enjoy most about Constructionarium Australia?

I enjoyed the teamwork aspect of Constructionarium Australia the most. Working as part of a diverse team, we could utilise strengths from different disciplines and experience levels to create a team that could collaborate effectively and overcome the program’s challenges.

I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing from industry experts about the latest advancements in the engineering and sustainability space.

What challenged you most about Constructionarium Australia?

The most challenging part of Constructionarium Australia was the condensed project timeline. We usually have five days to complete the build, but Brisbane went into Lockdown mid-way through our program. That meant we had to rapidly change our schedule to complete the project a day early and implement revised working practices to ensure we complied with health advice and minimised any potential risks to our team.

As a result, we spent shorter periods on each project component than would typically be allocated. For example, the tendering process was required to be completed within two days. While this timeline was challenging, it was amazing to see the high-quality tender each team produced during the presentations to the client and as we progressed on-site to finish ahead of time and under budget.

What help do you think Constructionarium Australia participation will be in your career/studies?

Participation in Constructionarium Australia has given me a greater appreciation of the role that others play in the life of a project. The organisation chart was reshuffled at the end of each day, allowing everyone to experience different roles and responsibilities, from Project Manager to Traffic Controller. By understanding and appreciating the importance of these different roles, I will be able to work more effectively with my team to achieve shared goals.

Would you recommend taking part in a build to other students/professionals?

I would highly recommend taking part in the build to other students and professionals, for those with both an engineering and non-engineering background in the construction industry. The build enabled my cohort to grow in our confidence and believe in our capabilities.