Glass rods support new bridge

The Pound Road West Upgrade is making its mark for its sustainability initiatives across transport infrastructure, by installing environmentally friendly glass fibre bars on the new bridge over the Cranbourne rail line.

In a MRPV-first, crews will install more than 1000 bars of glass fibre, each almost six metres long, to reinforce concrete panels for the construction of retaining walls on the new bridge, which will remove the dead-ends at Remington Drive and Pound Road West.

The glass fibre bars will be used as an alternative to conventional steel reinforcements. The glass fibre bars are more environmentally friendly than conventional steel bars, which produce four times more carbon dioxide during manufacture.

Aside from its environmental benefits, the glass fibre reinforcements are more cost-effective than conventional steel, use less energy to manufacture compared to steel reinforcements, exceed the tensile strength and bond strength of steel bars, are rustproof, non-conductive, non-ferrous and are lighter which makes installation easier and safer for crews.

Seymour Whyte, in consultation with Madewell Products in Carrum Downs, designed and specified the glass fibre reinforcement bars on the Pound Road West Upgrade.

The glass fibre reinforcement bars were supplied by Madewell Products to Rapid Pre-Cast Panels for the construction of the concrete panels.

ecologiQ Director Tony Aloisio said the industry is making great strides when it comes to innovation and using greener construction materials. "ecologiQ will continue supporting this work as we move towards recycled and reused materials becoming business as usual on infrastructure projects.”

The new bridge will provide better connections between the Dandenong South employment hub and freeway network, improving access in and around the area and reduce growing traffic pressure on Abbotts Road and the South Gippsland Highway.

By 2031, it’s expected more than 40,000 vehicles will use this new connection every day. The bridge will feed into two lanes each way, bordered by new shared walking and cycling paths to improve access and safety for pedestrians and bike users.

Once complete, the Pound Road West Upgrade will deliver improved traffic flow and travel times, new safety barriers to lower the risk and severity of crashes and improve access to the Dandenong South employment hub.

The Pound Road West Upgrade is scheduled for completion in 2023.