Massive crane gives Epping Road Upgrade a lift

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A massive mobile crane is helping deliver important drainage improvements as part of the Epping Road Upgrade.

The upgrade’s biggest crane yet has a lifting capacity of 450 tonnes, equal to 210 dual cab utes. The 131m reach of its telescopic boom is nearly the width of the MCG oval.

The big rig is helping build culverts under Epping and Lehmanns roads as part of the upgrade.

Culverts are concrete box pipes that allow water to flow under roads, trails and railways and provide an effective way to manage stormwater. The pipes drain water to nearby creeks or rivers, preventing flooding of roadways and surrounding areas.

The crane’s incredible boom length allows it to reach over Findon Creek's steep and wide embankments to lift culvert units into place. The crane’s enormous lifting capacity is essential to handling the heavy concrete culvert units with its boom extended.

Each culvert comprises the culvert units and link slabs. The units form the channel, while the slabs sit above to support vehicles crossing the culverts. Each unit weighs up to 11.24 tonnes, or as much as 2 Indian elephants. The link slabs weigh up to 5.1 tonnes, which is more than 2 white rhinos.

The team will install 30 units and 18 slabs to build the two culverts. The units and slabs total 429 tonnes, almost the weight of 7 E-class trams.

The project team has also installed temporary pumps and 900m of pipes to redirect creek flows while building the culverts. The team will remove the pumps and pipes after completing the culverts, restoring the creek's usual water course.

Work on the culverts began in July and is due for completion later this year.

The Epping Road Upgrade is adding lanes in each direction between Craigieburn Road East and Memorial Avenue. It will also improve 6 intersections and connections for pedestrians and cyclists.

The upgrade will provide safer, more-reliable journeys for the 35,000 drivers who use Epping Road daily in Melbourne’s north.

The Epping Road Upgrade is due for completion in 2025.

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