Freeway link is Five Star for VicRoads
First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
Indigenous signing through Anthonys Cutting
VicRoads, the highways authority for the Australian state of Victoria, has endorsed a major state road project for the first time under its new INVEST five star rating system aimed at encouraging innovation and sustainability in road building.
The Western Freeway Anthonys Cutting Alliance’s planning, design and construction management of the US$ 207.3 million (AUS $200 million) freeway link between Melton and Bacchus Marsh was backed by INVEST’s independent panel of national and international experts.
Dr Helen Murphy, VicRoads director of environmental sustainability, presented the inaugural INVEST star rating to Alliance partners, John Holland and the VicRoads Western Projects team.
Dr Murphy commended the Alliance for creating a freeway, which opened in June 2011, allowing drivers to avoid the steep hills and low speed curves of the old Western Highway route through Anthonys Cutting.
“In delivering this important project, the Alliance identified and implemented a number of firsts and best practice actions,” she said.
“These included using recycled materials in the road construction, improving road safety through reducing steep grades and tight curves, and the sensitive treatment of indigenous cultural heritage sites in the construction zones.
“The new Western Freeway route which passes through Wurundjeri lands is the first Victorian road project identified with ‘Welcome to Country’ signs.”
John Holland’s operations manager, Michael Lowrie, and VicRoads Western Projects director, John Moylan, accepted the award on behalf of the Alliance.
Lowrie said: “Infrastructure projects tend to measure performance through delivering on time and budget, but tools like INVEST are important to help us measure and benchmark sustainability attributes of the road projects.
“The associated star ratings, which acknowledge sustainable construction, are important to the community and the environment.”
VicRoads INVEST ratings will be applied for all future major Victorian road projects to encourage the industry and road construction contractors to seek innovative solutions, and to apply sustainable practices.
The new star ratings encourage best practice, innovation, research and development of sustainable road construction products and processes.
Under the system, project actions and outcomes are assessed against categories including air quality, biodiversity, road design, energy and water management, noise management, urban design, cultural heritage, resource management, community engagement, and behavioural change/capacity building.
INVEST ratings are based on verification of not just design aspects, but for the delivery of project outcomes.