Property and Infrastructure Specialists

Brisbane Airport Link

Providing Independent Verification services across the design, construction and transition phases of Australia’s largest road infrastructure project.
Client
City North Infrastructure (CNI) (acting for the State of Queensland) and BrisConnections Pty Ltd (PPP Company and State Works Contractor)
Location
Brisbane, QLD
Value
$4.8B
Sector

Australia’s largest road infrastructure project

Brisbane’s $4.8B Airport Link was Australia’s largest road infrastructure project. It incorporated three discrete projects:

  1. Airport Link (APL) – a privately financed toll road including Australia’s longest road tunnel (at 6.2km) and a total of 11km of main road tunnel and ramps
  2. Northern Busway – a 3km, two-lane, two-way, bus-only roadway, including 1.5km of cut-and-cover and mined tunnels
  3. EWAG – a grade-separated interchange, including:
  • A four-lane flyover
  • A high capacity interchange
  • Widening of the East-West Arterial to three lanes each way.

Complex engineering requirements

Construction methods included:

  • Tunnelling through soft ground, using earth pressure balance tunnel-boring machines
  • Mined tunnel sections through variable strength rock
  • Sections of drill and blast excavation through hard rock
  • Constructing caverns up to 14 metres high, 30 metres wide and 150 metres long where ramps intersected the mainline tunnels

Independent review and certification

APP was appointed as the Independent Verifier and Financiers’ Engineer, working across the design, construction and initial operations and maintenance phases of the project, in association with Hyder Consulting (now Arcadis).

As Independent Verifier, our role was to certify that the design and construction were carried out in accordance with State project documents.

As Financiers’ Engineer, APP:

  • Certified monthly payments to the D&C contractor
  • Reported on the program, identifying possible delays and proposed amelioration measures.

Achievement

The project presented significant challenges:  

  • Technical complexity, traffic management, urban, environmental and community considerations
  • Scale: more than 20,000 drawings to certify, and payment certificates of over $100 million per month across the three projects
  • Organisational complexity: three discrete projects with separate owners and contracts.

We overcame these by establishing a strong pool of senior and experienced staff with diverse technical knowledge, to resolve disputes and verify that design and construction compliance was being achieved at all stages.

We also appointed a dedicated completions manager 12 months before contractual completion, to ensure the smooth execution of construction close-out, certification and commissioning of control systems.

We maintained clarity and focus on each of the three concurrent projects by managing them separately, employing separate design review and construction document systems.

Throughout the projects both in the construction and now the operational phases the IV has maintained its independent verification role with all stakeholders resolute and has delivered commentary, decisions and advice on design, construction, contractual and operational requirements through a very high calibre group of industry professionals.

Paul Croke

Construction Director, City North Infrastructure Pty Ltd