Kuranda Range Kennedy Highway Geotechnical Works

Key capabilities: Slope Stabilisation; Major road & highway infrastructure; Complex traffic management
Project location: Kuranda Range Cairns, Queensland
Client name: Department of Transport & Main Roads
Project duration: November 2013 – December 2014
Project value: $8.8 Million

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.

Project scope

Works included:

  • Clearing and grubbing in a Wet Tropic World Heritage 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, 24hour lane closures, the use of temporary traffic lights over a 24hr period all in extreme weather conditions;
  • Road pavement reconstruction;
  • Slope stabilisation and protection works;
  • Soil nailing and rock doweling both upslope and down slope using elevated work platforms and sleds;
  • Shotcreting both upslope and down slope batters using fibred and unfibred reinforced coloured concrete.
  • The installation of Steel Wire Gabion and Mattress Works down slope 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 24 hour 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.