Kuranda Range Kennedy Highway Geotechnical Works

About the project

This Slope Stabilisation project was implemented to ensure a critical network link between Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands remained open throughout the tropical monsoonal wet season.

Key Capabilities

Slope stabilisation; Major road & highway infrastructure; Complex traffic management

Project Location

Kuranda Range Cairns, Queensland

Client Name

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Project Duration

November 2013 – December 2014

Project Value

$8.8 million

Project scope

Works included:

  • Clearing and grubbing in a World Heritage Tropical Area.
  • Rock scaling and batter regrading using a long reach and at times beyond the reach of a long reach.
  • Earthworks excavation and embankment works including the rock armouring of downslope batters on a narrow, winding and busy road.
  • Traffic management that included contraflow, 24hr lane closures and the use of temporary traffic lights over a 24hr period in extreme weather conditions.
  • Road pavement reconstruction.
  • Slope stabilisation and protection works.
  • Soil nailing and rock doweling both upslope and downslope using elevated work platforms and sleds.
  • Shotcreting both upslope and downslope batters using fibred and unfibred reinforced coloured concrete.
  • The installation of steel wire gabion and mattress works downslope to enable curve widening and out fall structure protection.
  • High tensile steel and erosion netting was installed on both upslope and downslope.
  • Construction of a fauna crossing.

Innovations & Highlights

  • This was the first project undertaken by DTMR on the Kuranda Range to feature 24hr construction work.
  • The project addressed several well-known locations along the route which previously were not wide enough for trucks to pass without collision.
  • Works took place in an environmentally sensitive World Heritage Tropical Area.
  • Work was undertaken during the wet season under strict environmental regulation by the Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA).
  • The project survived Cyclone Ita, was constructed on time and budget and received positive feedback from local stakeholders both during and after construction.
  • There were no lost time injuries.
  • Works required detailed planning in regards to safety, environment, staging and traffic management issues.
  • All works were undertaken in accordance with strict TMR specifications and supervision.