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Inspiring Students to Consider A Career In Infrastructure

Earlier this month the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade; Rocklea to Darra Team hosted a group of year 10 students from Ambrose Tracey College for a ‘day in the life of…’

The program was designed to introduce the students to the wide variety of job opportunities on an infrastructure project.

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Starting with a safety induction, toolbox talk and a presentation on the project, the students were then escorted onsite to see firsthand the activities underway (although the wet weather did hamper the walk around!) Staff from both TMR and the project’s joint venture partner Bielby Hull Albem (BHA) were involved in an open floor Q&A session for students to ask questions about what they do in their day-to-day jobs, aimed at helping student to decide if Engineering – Civil/Structural or perhaps a trade may be the right stream for them.

The day finished with a practical activity, where the students were presented with an actual problem that the project had faced and the range of options that were developed by the project team. They were placed into groups and had to work through the design options and offer their feedback on which solution was implemented. An email from their teacher afterwards confirmed the day was a great success and a huge thank you to all the staff who took time out of their day to present, chat to the students and be involved.

‘When asked if any boys had changed their ideas about what they wanted to do career wise, several said they were now thinking of engineering as a career and a few more were interested in site foreman or site manager roles. So with that said I think overall the day went very well and thank you again.’ Sean Smith, ATC Design Teacher.

Just another example of the amazing teamwork, collaboration and information sharing that goes on out at R2D!

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Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade Project Update

Major construction of the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade (HRF) project on the Bruce Highway between Ayr and
Townsville commenced in April 2019. The $514.3M project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland
governments (with commitments of $411.4m and$102.9m respectively) under the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.

Learn more about the project and its benefits by downloading the latest Project Newsletter.

Learn more about our involvement in the project.

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Meet The Team – Joe Damen

Working on the Ipswich Motorway upgrade and specialising in civil road construction, Senior Project Engineer, Joe Damen, is leading the Boundary Road Connection construction team. We caught up with Joe to find out a little bit more about his career and projects.

Why did you become an engineer?

As a kid, I loved building stuff with Lego and playing with dump trucks in the sandpit. Throughout school, maths, science, and problem solving were my interests and strengths, English was neither a strength nor an interest. I always had a keen interest in buildings and bridges; therefore, the obvious pathway was to study to be a Civil Engineer at University.

What do you love about our industry?

The best thing about construction is that at the end of each week, month, year, and finally completion of the project, you can see your work come to fruition. It is great to see the benefit that the end-user gets out of the project. What is even better is driving on the road every day that you had a part in building.

In the construction of brownfield projects, every day is different – one day there may be earthworks, the next a concrete pour, or asphalt. You are not stuck at a desk all day; it is very rewarding!

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on the Boundary Road Connection. It is part of the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade; Rocklea to Darra and is a service road linking Boundary Road at Rocklea through the Oxley Creek flood plain to Boundary/Blunder Road Intersection at Oxley.

It will benefit the local community by reducing congestion at the Oxley Rd Roundabout over the Ipswich Motorway, Oxley McDonalds, and Oxley Bunnings.

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?

I believe every project I have been a part of has been a great achievement. Each one has different challenges, dollar values, and prestige.

In my career, I have worked on flat long roads in the middle of nowhere, steep, narrow roads in the hinterland, and major arterial highways and I have learnt plenty from each project and value each one as being important to my career to date.

What’s the best project you have worked on?

I have not decided on a favourite yet. It’s a decision between my first project, Port of Brisbane Motorway – Gateway Motorway to Pritchard Street (2011-2013), or my current project, Ipswich Motorway Rocklea to Darra (2017 to Present). It’s a hard choice.

I was given a fantastic opportunity while the industry was booming in 2011 to work on a $200M BMD Seymour Whyte JV straight out of uni. The project was part greenfield and part brownfield to provide a better link for industry between the Gateway Motorway and Port of Brisbane, taking the majority of traffic off Lytton Road. The project had challenges including soft soils, acid sulphate soils, marine plants, major bridge structures, retaining walls, intersection upgrades, and traffic switches.  I learnt so much on my first project as a Graduate Engineer and got a good taste of construction.

I am currently working on the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade; Rocklea to Darra. For the last two years, I have been managing significant construction areas on the project. These areas have challenges including; a narrow work area within a road corridor catering for 70,000 vehicles per day, numerous traffic switches, interfaces between crews constructing retaining walls, large RCBC structures, and civil works. The work has included significant upgrades to the adjacent service roads including management of service relocations, construction of shared user footpaths and exclusively separated cycleway. I have recently started overseeing the Boundary Road connection which also has challenges including; services relocations, major RCBC construction, and two intersection upgrades. As we head towards a strong finish to the project, the Ipswich Motorway may well become my favourite.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?

Field experience is priceless. You can spend all the time at university or training, but there is so much to learn about construction from those in the field and being in the field. There are people out on-site that have been in the construction industry longer than I have been alive.

If I am not sure on a build strategy, they are usually my go-to because they have seen it, done it and can pass on their expertise and advice.

What would your last meal be?

A steak from the Meringandan Hotel.

What is the last movie you watched or series you binged?

I saw “Knives Out” at the movies recently. Wasn’t expecting much but it was a brilliant murder mystery comedy.

Who’s the greatest engineer of all time and why?

John Roebling – Lead Engineer for the Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Bridge is so impressive considering it was constructed in the 1880s.

What excites you about the future of infrastructure?

The urban sprawl is growing in South East QLD, and I think the industry has exciting times ahead with many underground road/ rail tunnels required, high rise, and no doubt arterial road upgrades. Hopefully, South East Queensland wins the 2032 Olympics as there may be the opportunity once in a lifetime Olympic infrastructure.

If you could have worked on any major project from history, what would it have been?

Locally I would pick the Story Bridge as it is a part of Brisbane’s skyline.

Globally I think it is hard to beat the Golden Gate Bridge. Well worth a visit if travelling to the USA.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work I play cricket in the warehouse competition every Saturday afternoon and glued to the TV when the Australians are playing test cricket (I’m a bit of a tragic). I also go cycling on weekends and ride to an from work when the weather is kind. When I have the time to get to the beach, I am pretty keen on bodyboarding and am slowly picking up surfing.

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Bielby Holdings and Constructionarium Australia Partner for Story Bridge Build

Bielby Holdings is delighted to announce that we are supporting the April 2020 Constructionarium Australia Story Bridge Build!

Taking place at the Construction Training Centre in Salisbury from 15th to 24th April the project comprises a three-day training programme and five-day build. Participants will have the opportunity to be part of a unique cohort and will benefit from a dedicated learning and development experience with one outcome in mind; to create future leaders within Queensland’s construction sector.

Over the five-day build, participants will build a replica Story Bridge which is over 30m long and weighs 4 tonnes helping them to gain skills and experience that would take one or two years to learn in the course of typical projects. They will manage all aspects of an engineering project including project and issues management, safety, budgetary control and timely project delivery.

Bielby will be acting as principal contractor, providing a project leadership team to support and mentor participants drawn from final year university students, postgraduate students and early-stage industry professionals.

Bielby’s Managing Director, Adam Edwards, outlined why Constructionarium Australia is important to Bielby “For us to be involved in a project that helps to advance skills for infrastructure professionals and to provide young engineers with real-world experience fits in with the values we hold.”

“To become successful in construction, you need to have an excellent theoretical understanding, but more than that you need to have experience about how projects work. Looking back to the start of my career, I wish initiatives like Constructionarium existed and that I had the opportunity to spend eight days learning from industry experts and getting my hands dirty on a scaled-down major project.”

“We are excited to be part of an initiative that gives back to our industry and helps the next generation of talented individuals to benefit from an immersive training programme.”

Constructionarium Australia’s Executive Director, Harry Hartman, welcomed Bielby’s involvement “Bielby is one of Queensland’s preeminent contractors with a proven track record in delivering outstanding projects across the state. They will be a fantastic partner for our April build and will bring a significant level of experience, insight and practical knowledge to the programme and we are delighted at the leadership they are showing and their commitment to the future of our industry.”

Bielby Graduates Celebrate Success

As the university year comes to an end, for many students it is a time to celebrate and for Bielby’s Bailey Stiller and Hunter Clements, it is certainly the case!

On Tuesday, the QUT students along with an army of family, friends and colleagues, attended their formal graduation ceremony at QPAC. At a packed ceremony, they received their parchments as well as well-deserved plaudits for their efforts, commitment and dedication to their studies.

Bailey graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Construction).

Hunter graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Construction).

Managing Director Adam Edwards paid tribute to Bielby’s latest graduates. “On behalf of everyone at Bielby, I would like to congratulate Bailey and Hunter on the completion of their studies. I look forward to Bailey and Hunter working with us on major projects for many years to come as they build their careers and continue their professional development.”

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Celebrating 20 Years!

Bielby stalwart Sam Bates ticked over a major milestone with the company celebrating his 20-year anniversary with Bielby; two decades in which Sam has been instrumental in the delivery of projects across Queensland.

“When I first arrived at Bielby, at the original office on Bielby Rd in Kenmore, the first person I met was Andrew Howgate, who said “Mate, you don’t know how lucky you are to get a job with this company”, recalls Sam.

“I could have taken that a couple of ways, but it was pretty clear from early on that this was a unique construction company with a great culture and I began to understand what Andrew truly meant. The fact that I am here 20 years later proves that Bielby is a great place to work and build a career.”

Sam, who heads up Bielby’s pre-contracts team originally joined Bielby as a Site Engineer on the SET 1B Extension Project,  becoming involved in more and more aspects of contract management, negotiation and estimating as time progressed and his experience grew. In his two decades with Bielby Sam has worked on the Houghton Highway Duplication and Approaches, Samford / Wardell Intersection Upgrade, Acacia Ridge Open Level Crossing Upgrade, Centenary Link Alliance, Bruce Highway Upgrade – Dohles Rocks Rd to Boundary Rd, Gatton Bypass Duplication and many more.

‘I think the biggest compliment that I can give to Bielby is that it hasn’t felt like 20 years. We are a very tight-knit team and many of us have been here for similar amounts of time, so we have a great culture, trust and respect for each other which means that we get the job done and enjoy working together.”

Managing Director Adam Edwards paid tribute to Sam’s time with Bielby “Sam is a fantastic asset to Bielby and lives our values every day. He is always willing to help, to go the extra mile and to ensure that we deliver for our clients with the highest levels of professionalism and quality. Sam is to be congratulated for everything that he has achieved and will achieve as we continue to secure projects and deliver vital infrastructure.”

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Bielby delighted to see great design acknowledged

Bielby Holdings is delighted to see innovative design recognised at the recent Queensland Major Contractors Association Innovation and Excellence awards, with the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade nominated for the Designers Award and being highly commended by the judging panel.

In their submission, the Arup and HDR Joint Venture outlined the innovative and technology-led approach that they took when designing the Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade Project:

Arup partnered with HDR to develop design innovations for the 13.5-kilometre Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade Project, located 50 kilometres south of Townsville. The foodplain is one of the most complex in Australia, with regular flood events spreading for many kilometres along the Bruce Highway.

The integrated design and construction team developed meaningful solutions using a risk-based approach that met both hydraulic and alignment requirements. These ideas reduced the number of bridges from the reference design from 16 to seven, which saved more than 2100 linear metres of bridge without significantly increasing the waterway area of transverse culverts.

Another key innovation was the use of tubular steel piles that made up the sub-structure on the new Haughton River Bridge. In a first for Queensland, it will be built to withstand a Category 4 earthquake.

Building information modelling formed the centrepiece of the design process. It helped to communicate intent to all parties and provided a common platform for collaboration, clash detection and interface management.

Bielby Managing Director, Adam Edwards paid tribute to the nomination “We along with our joint venture partners are delighted to be delivering a project that is at the cutting edge of design. It is fantastic to see that innovation within the construction and infrastructure industry is being recognised and rewarded by Queensland Major Contractors Association, of who Bielby is a proud member.”

For more information on Bielby’s involvement please visit: https://www.bielby.com.au/haughton-river-floodplain-upgrade-project/

About the Project

The $513 million project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($414.4 million) and Queensland Government ($102.9 million). The project covers essential upgrades to the Bruce Highway, designed to improve safety and efficiency for road users, as well as significantly improving flood immunity. The project is being delivered by The Infrastructure Group (TIG), a joint venture between Bielby, BMD Constructions, JF Hull Holdings and Albem Operations, on behalf of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

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Motorway upgrade recognised for sustainable design

Bielby Holdings, in conjunction with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, are delighted to have received recognition for sustainable design, with Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1 certified by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) for an Excellent Design Infrastructure Sustainability rating.

A Design rating is awarded based on the inclusion of design elements and construction requirements for sustainability in the project and to receive an Excellent design rating is a significant achievement. As part of the assessment process, ISCA reviews all aspects of the project covering everything from the impact on climate change to management systems.

Bielby’s Managing Director Adam Edwards stated the importance of sustainability to the organisation, “We are honoured to have received a rating of excellent for the design of this project. From taking measures to protect native wildlife via dedicated corridors to reducing the amount of concrete and steel used by being innovative in our design, we can construct much-needed infrastructure while balancing the duty of care we have for our environment.”

“We are particularly pleased to have received the highest possible score for the key categories of Climate Change, Ecology, Management Systems, and Health and Wellbeing. The project team and all involved parties are to be congratulated on the achievement of an Excellent rating.”

In assessing TMR and Bielby’s submission, ISCA noted in particular:

  • – A significant reduction in material impacts compared to the Base Case design.
  • – A notable achievement is the use of alternative thinking to achieve a 57% reduction in concrete and a 54% reduction in the stressing strand steel for short- span bridges.
  • – The project should also be commended for implementing habitat connectivity measures such as fauna fences and widening corridors.

 

About the project

The $400 million project is 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 east of Oxley Road, Oxley. This is the most critical section of the remaining 7kms of the motorway still to be upgraded. In April 2017, TMR appointed Bielby Hull Albem Joint Venture (BHA JV), a Queensland-owned joint venture, as the contractor for the upgrade. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2020.

About the IS Rating

The Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme was developed and is administered by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). ISCA is Australia’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across design, construction and operation of infrastructure.

 

Campaign trail visits Bielby Holdings’ project

The team working on Ipswich Motorway Upgrade, Darra to Rocklea Package 1, were at the centre of the Federal Election campaign recently as Anthony Albanese MP, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP and Mark Bailey MP, Milton Dick MP, Jim Madden MP and Graham Perrett MP from Federal and Queensland Labor made a whistle stop visit to the site.

The project is a 3km upgrade of the Ipswich Motorway between Granard Road, Rocklea and Oxley Road, Oxley and will improve reliability, safety, connectivity and flood immunity for one of Brisbane and South East Queensland’s busiest arterials.

Project Manager, Andrew Howgate, welcomed the visit “It is always good to be able to showcase the work that we are undertaking and to be able to demonstrate the achievements and hard work that the team at Bielby are putting into this vital piece of infrastructure.”

Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1 includes:

  • upgrading the motorway from 4 to 6 lanes
  • higher bridges over Oxley Creek, including 7 new bridges
  • new 1.5km Boundary Road Connection Road linking Boundary Road, Rocklea across the Oxley floodplain through to the Blunder Road intersection at Oxley
  • new northern service road over the Oxley Creek floodplain
  • new traffic signals at the Suscatand Street intersection.

The project will improve travel time, reliability, safety, local connectivity and flood immunity by:

  • providing safer access to and from the motorway
  • increasing the motorway’s capacity
  • constructing higher bridges over the Oxley Creek area
  • providing improved active transport facilities
  • providing better local road connectivity.

Project fly through video released

A fly through video of the Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Rocklea to Darra – Stage 1, has been released, providing a glimpse into the programme of works and end result of this major project Bielby Holdings is delivering for the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

Watch the fly through video:

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The $400 million project is 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 east of Oxley Road, Oxley. This is the most critical section of the remaining 7kms of the motorway still to be upgraded. In April 2017, TMR appointed Bielby Hull Albem Joint Venture (BHA JV), a Queensland-owned joint venture, as the contractor for the upgrade. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2020.