Construction is Kicking off on Western Australia’s Great Northern Connect. Will Create 450 Jobs.

The Great Northern Connect (GNC), a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and BGC Contracting, is the central section of Western Australia’s NorthLink roads project.

NorthLink will stretch from northern Perth to Muchea and shift heavy traffic away from the Swan Valley tourist region, improve freight routes to Fremantle port and reduce the number of vehicles on the Great Northern Highway.

The Great Northern Connect portion of NorthLink involves the construction of;

  • a 20km stretch of highway between the Reid Highway and Ellenbrook,
  • 16 road bridges,
  • three footbridges
  • cycle and pedestrian facilities

As is often the case with highway projects in Western Australia, the Great Northern Connect faces a few logistical challenges, mainly arising from the harsh terrain and remote location.

The whole project sits on sandy ground and 90% of the project is passing through bush. As part of the environmental management plan, as the road is constructed over 800kg of seed will be distributed and over 2 million shrubs will be planted.

Furthermore, the massive volume of materials that need to be delivered to site poses a not insignificant challenge. To minimise the associated cost with delivering multiple materials to site Project leader Scott Martin has identified that they will rely heavily on Laing O’Rourke’s established off-site manufacturing practices,

“This provides us with the opportunity to exploit Laing O’Rourke’s offsite manufacturing techniques (DfMA). All the noise walls and tee beams on the bridge decks will be constructed from locally made precast concrete components.”

This choice will reduce the number of people on site, which reduces costs and minimises the risk of an accident.

At peak construction, it is expected 450 people will be working on the project. It is expected the Great Northern Connect will be completed in September 2019.

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Source: Government of Western Australia, Laing O’Rourke, The Construction Index

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