THREE huge concrete bridge pieces made an epic 300 kilometre truck journey as part of a ‘superload’ operation from Sale to a level crossing removal site in Melbourne’s west.
Manufactured at GBG Concrete, the concrete pieces – known as crossheads – form part of a brand new 1.2km road bridge being built to remove the dangerous and congested level crossing at Old Geelong Rd, Hoppers Crossing, about 24km from the Melbourne CBD.
The biggest of the three massive concrete sections weighed in 173 tonnes and travelled on a 58-metre truck and trailer.
Beginning on Sunday, the superloads travelled at night to minimise disruption, escorted by traffic controllers following a carefully planned route.
A journey time of 16 hours over two days was needed to complete the trip, with the three trucks travelling at speeds of 40 to 60km per hour and stopping for a break at Rosedale and Drouin, before continuing through to Melbourne overnight and arriving in Hoppers Crossing in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The convoy travelled along the M1 and North Rd before passing through St Kilda’s Upper Esplanade, Wurundjeri Way and Footscray Rd and the Princes Freeway.
The three pre-cast crossheads will form an integral part of the road bridge at Hoppers Crossing, each supporting 14 beam ends as part of the bridge deck. Since the beginning of May, bridge beam installation has continued apace, with more than half of a total 75 bridge beams installed at Hoppers Crossing.
Now in peak construction, the project will relieve traffic pressures for about 18,000 vehicles per day and free up access through to the Werribee Mercy Hospital.