We aim to have the lowest possible effect on the local environment while we build a safer and more accessible road for everyone.

We’re working hard to minimise our impact on the environment, by protecting trees and vegetation where possible and reusing natural resources that have been removed throughout the project.

Breaking down barriers to sustainability

Our commitment to sustainability will see us breaking new ground in Victoria with the introduction of recycled concrete safety barriers along the freeway between Pakenham Rail Line and Cardinia Road.

These eco-friendly barriers are made up of recycled water and human made sand. We've also replaced 30% of the cement required with byproducts that would usually go to landfill. We're constructing these using slipform barrier installation technology.

Instead of trucking 1650 precast barriers to site, the slipform machine will mould fast-drying concrete into the traffic barrier in place.

This means 10km of barriers will be installed without mobile cranes, lifting operations or grouting activity, increasing overall productivity and improving safety.

This will drastically reduce energy consumption, air pollution, noise levels, dust and traffic disruptions as we continue to upgrade the Monash Freeway.

Fauna and flora biodiversity

As part of our planning process, we’ve completed our assessment of flora and fauna biodiversity values, Aboriginal and historical heritage, contamination and noise.

We focused our flora and fauna biodiversity investigations on the eastern section of the works, between Princes Highway, Narre Warren and Cardinia Road, Officer.

As part of this, we found several patches of native vegetation within the eastern section of the project area. We also found habitat values for several threatened fauna species.

The native vegetation found at Cardinia Creek and Lower Gum Scrub Creek is associated with the Growling Grass Frog ponds. These were created when the Pakenham Bypass was built.

To minimise the effect of the project on these areas, we’ll make them no-go zones while we build.

Read more about the biodiversity values we found in our flora and fauna assessment (PDF, 36.0 MB)

We assessed the western section as part of an earlier report and found nothing that requires specific environmental management.

Local heritage

We found no local historical heritage within the boundary of the project. We did find Aboriginal heritage at several locations within the eastern section of the project between Clyde Road and Cardinia Road.

We’ll make sure the Aboriginal places will be protected from effects of the project.

O'Shea Road

Caring for the environment

Unlike conventional walking and cycling paths, which use metal reinforcement for strength, the shared-use path along the O’Shea Road extension has been constructed with ‘E-mesh’. ‘E-mesh’ is a plastic fibre made from 100% recycled plastic which replaces the need for steel and reduces the water and carbon emissions associated with concrete reinforcement.

Of the soil used for the O’Shea Road extension and ramp construction at the Beaconsfield interchange, 35,000 cubic metres has been re-used from the centre median of the Monash Freeway and from between Soldiers Road and the Beaconsfield Interchange.

Assessing and protecting trees and vegetation

We’ve consulted a team of independent ecologists to conduct Biodiversity Assessments to determine areas that may have biodiversity sensitivities and to inform our planning.

We’ve also consulted an independent arborist to identify trees that can be retained and trees that require protection during construction.

Where trees are being retained, we’ll establish a fenced tree protection zone for the duration of construction activities. This protects the area around a tree, above and below ground, to allow the tree to continue growing. We’ll also set up no go zone fences to protect vegetation during construction.

Clearing and replanting trees and vegetation

We share the value the community places on the environment, and we’re working hard to minimise tree removal where we can during the construction. We anticipate that we’ll need to remove approximately 900 trees from:

  • the Beaconsfield Interchange
  • O’Shea Road from west of Clyde Road to Soldiers Road
  • Soldiers Road north and south of O’Shea Road.

We’ll be appointing vegetation removal contractors who have demonstrated experience working in sensitive areas to carry out these removals. For any native vegetation that we need to remove, we’ll either replace them or offset them by acquiring native vegetation with the same ecological value.

We’ll also plant new trees and vegetation at the end of the project replacing what has been removed. We’re currently working with landscape designers and the local council to finalise the landscape design along O’Shea Road.

Managing water quality

We’ve identified water sources in and around the project area. Where possible and practical we’ll work to minimise impacts on these water sources as well as ground water during construction by:

  • monitoring water quality prior to and during construction
  • installing silt curtains in waterways to prevent pollution
  • capturing and treating any water that is created during construction activities so that it does not leave our work site or enter water sources
  • always having spill containment materials available to our workers.

We’ll monitor the quality of the water sources within the project area prior to and during construction.

Managing contaminated soil

We’ve identified locations within the project area with potential low levels of contaminated soil.

We’ll manage these locations by:

  • developing an Environmental Improvement Plan for the handling, management and disposal of contaminated soils
  • minimising the disturbance of contaminated land
  • tracking the movement of all contaminated soils
  • disposing contaminated soil in line with Environmental Protection Protection Agency (EPA) standards.

Managing air quality

Construction activities will at times create dust. We’ll apply a best practice approach to managing air quality. Where possible and practical we’ll reduce the impacts by:

  • using temporary dust fences as necessary
  • reducing traffic speeds in works areas, to minimise dust generation
  • covering truck loads when travelling to and from the work site
  • hydro-seeding stockpiles of topsoil
  • minimising the time between stripping topsoil and commencing excavation
  • watering areas or using chemical suppressants where earthworks are occurring
  • having additional water carts on standby during hot and windy weather
  • regularly servicing and maintaining equipment so to minimise the amount of smoke
  • using advanced control systems and filters in diesel engines, to reduce emissions
  • using street sweepers to clean local roads if necessary
  • installing rumble grids and wash bays at worksite compounds entry and exit points to reduce mud being tracked onto the road.

We’ll monitor air quality and wind conditions during construction to ensure we are minimising impacts and complying with EPA guidelines.

Managing waste

We’ll maintain our work areas to ensure that they are kept clean and tidy. Where possible and practical we’ll reduce waste by:

  • providing clearly labelled waste containers
  • ensuring all waste is disposed of appropriately
  • collecting concrete waste and disposing of it in a concrete washout facility
  • covering all vehicles transporting waste
  • recycling or reusing waste materials where possible.

Protecting wildlife

Where possible and practical we’ll reduce our impact on wildlife in the area during construction. Prior to removal, trees will be inspected for the presence of animals, with a wildlife carer on hand to safely remove and relocate any animals found.