The Forrestfield-Airport Link is improving public transport options to and from Perth’s eastern suburbs as well as reducing the strain on current transport infrastructure due to anticipated passenger growth.
By 2021, the Forrestfield-Airport Link is expected to generate 20,000 passenger trips on the suburban rail network every day – increasing to 29,000 daily by 2031. In addition to providing strategically located stations at Redcliffe, Airport Central and Forrestfield, the new train line will alleviate road traffic, reduce travel times, enable continued growth of Perth Airport, and encourage domestic and international tourism with improved access between Perth Airport and the city.
Flagship project for Boral
The Forrestfield-Airport Link is being designed and constructed by the Salini Impregilo-NRW Joint Venture (SI-NRW) for the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia. SI-NRW is committed to supporting local businesses for the benefit of the project and subcontracted the supply of the concrete for the tunnel lining segments to Boral Australia.
The Forrestfield-Airport Link is one of Western Australia’s most transformational public transport projects and it includes 8 km twin-bored tunnels through soft ground conditions below groundwater, a total of 9,000 concrete rings tunnel lining, built with 54,000 segments, bus/train interchanges at Redcliffe and Forrestfield, tunnel cross passages and egress shafts, rail infrastructure and operating systems, and the three new stations Redcliffe, Airport Central and Forrestfield.
Boral secured contracts to supply more than 180,000 m3 of concrete to the project. Approximately 87,000 m3 of highly specified, fire-resistant concrete is being supplied from a purpose-built batch plant to form 54,000 precast concrete tunnel segments. These 8 km tunnels will connect with existing rail services and, when complete in 2020, will more than halve the current travel time from the city to Forrestfield and the airport in the east of Perth.
Building on the initial relationship with SI-NRW, Boral is also supplying 93,000 m3 of concrete for the construction of two underground and one above-ground rail stations and associated structures; this work commenced in November 2016.
A Forrestfield warehouse has been transformed by SI-NRW and Boral Construction Materials into a facility to batch the concrete and produce the tunnel line segments. The segments are trucked for temporary storage to the Forrestfield construction site, from where they are delivered into the tunnel boring machines (TBMs).
Marcantonini Concrete Technology Italy (MCT Italy), in a true partnership with its Australian partner Bennett Equipment from Adelaide, delivered a concrete batch plant to Boral specifically designed to produce the concrete for the tunnel segments.
The high-quality concrete containing 40 kg of steel and 1.5 kg of polypropylene fibers per m3 is batched by No. 2 Eurostar planetary mixer 3000/2000. The concrete has undergone a series of tests to ensure it meets the required standards for strength and durability.
Very strict tolerances lower than 1% on all dosed components ensured success on the most severe tests, including fire testing performed in Germany and Australia.
Support for Australia’s precast producers
Carl Wildman, Manager of Bennett Equipment, says: “The turn-key project as concerns site organization, erection and lifting equipment has been really well organized by all the three parties involved: MCT Italy, Bennett Equipment and Boral. The customer supported us with genuine, collaborative spirit from day one: in such conditions every project is a guaranteed success and it means a long-lasting relationship”.
Also, Gabriele Falchetti, Executive Australia Sales Manager of MCT Italy, points out: “The batching plant recently installed in Perth confirms that our customer-focused solutions together with high-quality components are the win-win cards to play. The very strict tolerances set by Boral to completely meet SI-NRW and Australian standards were a challenge, and I can definitely affirm that we are proud of the state-of-the-art precast concrete plant delivered to Western Australia”.