Did you know that the Waurn Ponds Creek is home to the Yarra Pygmy Perch? This small fish is a nationally vulnerable freshwater fish species and so we’re building a new bridge over the creek as part of the Barwon Heads Road Upgrade, following strict environmental guidelines.
Construction on the new bridge started in October last year, with traffic now moved onto new lanes allowing for the safe demolition of the existing bridge and the new Geelong bound lanes to be constructed.
A range of environmental controls are already in place for the demolition, including catchment sheeting to avoid any debris falling into the creek and a specialised silt curtain to manage any escaping construction water and sediment. Certain works must be undertaken before or after the September to November breeding season of the Yarra Pygmy Perch.
Work to build the new lanes involves driving concrete piles more than 20 metres into the ground to create the support for the 30-metre-long concrete beams that will be placed on top to form the structure for the road. This design avoids the need to place any bridge supports within the creek.
We’ve used a range of recycled and sustainable products in constructing the new bridge, including:
- all structural concrete materials comprise of a minimum 15% supplementary cementitious materials
- steel components within the structural element procured from certified green star rated suppliers
- recycled crushed concrete from Geelong Commercial Waste to backfill against the retaining walls and build the base of the road
- asphalt for pavement comprising of at least 15% Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP).
When completed, the new bridge will carry 4 lanes of traffic and sit approximately 2 metres higher than the existing bridge to increase protection from future flood events. A shared use path, that will go under the bridge will also be constructed as part of a walking and cycling path along Barwon Heads Road. The path will provide connectivity to the Waurn Ponds Trail, the South Barwon Reserve, Belmont Common and the Barwon River Precinct.
The Barwon Heads Road Upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments. The project is expected to be completed in late 2023.