Enhancing our networks

FY16 SUMMARY

  • Completed the first full year of operations for Legacy Way in Queensland, and contributed $100,000 to charity partner Legacy
  • Acquired AirportlinkM7 and continued discussions with the Queensland Government about opportunities to consolidate and improve service across the Brisbane road network
  • Continued to support Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads on the procurement, delivery and project management of the Gateway Upgrade North project
  • Progressed to exclusive negotiations with the Queensland Government on the Logan Enhancement Project, and hosted community information and Environmental Reference Group sessions for the project
  • Entered into negotiations with Brisbane City Council to help with the assessment and delivery of the Inner City Bypass Upgrade project
  • Continued major construction on NorthConnex in New South Wales and reached an agreement to help rehabilitate the nearby Hornsby Quarry into a recreational facility for the local community
  • Commenced construction on the CityLink Tulla Widening project, with extensive community engagement and a partnership with Landcare Australia for road corridor regeneration
  • Continued with community consultation to develop the Reference Design for Western Distributor in Victoria, and announced accompanying works for the Monash Freeway Upgrade
  • Announced the 395 Express Lanes project in Greater Washington Area and launched an accompanying 395 Express Lanes Community Grant Program
  • Shortlisted in the competitive tender for I-66 project in Greater Washington Area, including a commitment by Transurban to achieve an Envision Sustainability rating for the project
  • Reached an agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation to extend the 95 Express Lanes to the south, as part of the Atlantic Gateway Project to improve road, rail and bus services along the I-95 corridor

Transurban has ownership in 15 toll road assets across Australia and the USA, and it is crucial that we keep these road networks in good working order and improve them to meet the changing needs of our cities.

We have a shared interest with motorists, governments and the community to improve the overall capacity and quality of roads, and to reduce the impact of major works.

In FY16, we made improvements to our operations and maintenance practices and completed or initiated a number of upgrade works on our existing motorways.



GRI G4 Indicators

  • Indirect economic impacts DMA
  • EC7
  • SO1

Legacy Way opening

After opening on June 25 2015, Legacy Way celebrated its first full year of operations at the end of FY16.

Legacy Way provides a critical connection between Brisbane’s inner northern suburbs and western suburbs and beyond. By using Legacy Way, travellers can save around 14 minutes and almost halve their travel times between key CBD routes. Since opening we have seen steady and stable traffic volumes using Legacy Way, with an average of almost 20,000 trips made each work day.

To encourage motorists to use Legacy Way and experience the tunnel’s time-saving benefits, introductory discounted tolls were offered. Full toll prices were applied across all vehicle types from May 2016.

Legacy

Legacy Way delivers reliable journeys for travellers and also delivers benefits to the community. Transurban donates one cent from every toll collected to Legacy, a charity that cares for the families of Australian veterans. For FY16, Transurban will make a contribution of $100,000, which will also be our guaranteed minimum annual contribution for the first 15 years of operation.

#homesooner

In October 2015, we asked motorists to show how they were spending the time they saved by using Legacy Way by sharing pictures on social media using the hashtag, #homesooner for the chance to win $10,000. The winning entry out of 540 pictures was from Danny Rattu for his creative take on his reason for getting home sooner, with a photo of his twin baby girls playing chess.

More information about the tunnel can be found on the Transurban and Legacy Way websites.

AirportlinkM7 acquisition

In April 2016, Transurban Queensland reached financial close on the acquisition of the AirportlinkM7 motorway for $1.87 billion, plus stamp duty and other costs of $131 million.

At 5.7 kilometres long, AirportlinkM7 is currently Australia’s longest road tunnel and is used by around 55,000 vehicles per day. Including open road sections, the asset extends to 6.7 km.

The acquisition allows the consolidation of control rooms, incident response, customer systems, on-road signage and information. This will provide greater consistency across the network for road users. Transurban is working with the Queensland Government to identify further opportunities to improve service delivery.

More information can be found on the Transurban or AirportlinkM7 websites.

Gateway Upgrade North

In FY16, Transurban began works on the Gateway Upgrade North (GUN) project, providing procurement and delivery project management on behalf of the Queensland State Government and working with major contractor Lendlease to deliver the upgrade.

Due for completion in 2018, the project will improve road safety and reduce congestion for more than 80,000 motorists daily. This road is not tolled and this will remain unchanged following completion of the upgrade by Transurban.

The project will upgrade an 11.3 kilometre stretch of motorway between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge with widening from four to six lanes, construction of wider shoulders, extensions to on and off-ramps, new safety barriers, separation of local traffic from motorway traffic, and installation of intelligent transport systems including variable message signs, traffic monitoring cameras and ramp metering.

In FY16, the project team provided ongoing community and engineering information at its visitor information centre to highlight the community benefits of increased capacity and improved safety outcomes for motorists. The Centre will continue to provide updates as works progress up to the project's completion.

During works, the project is maintaining a popular commuter and recreational cycling route in Brisbane’s northern suburbs and pedestrian access by constructing temporary shared user path diversions. The team consulted with key cycling groups on different route options and the diversion is expected to be in place until completion of bridge upgrades on the Gateway Motorway in late 2016. Permanent cycling and pedestrian paths will be built as a part of the project.

GUN is targeting IS ‘Excellent’ Design and As Built ratings and has established additional requirements to achieve minimum IS ratings of 65 points, which exceed the 50 points required to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating.

More information can be found on the Transurban and Gateway Upgrade North websites.

Logan Enhancement Project

In FY16, Transurban progressed to exclusive negotiations with the Queensland Government on the Logan Enhancement Project (LEP) and has shortlisted contractors to tender for the design and construction phase of the project.

The approximately $450 million project will deliver widening and upgrades of the Logan Motorway and Gateway Extension Motorway to increase capacity and reduce queuing on the motorway, which causes congestion and safety hazards.

Subject to final government approval, construction is expected to begin in early 2017 and be completed in 2019.

Since the announcement of the proposal in October 2015, Transurban has hosted six community information sessions, received over 100 emails and phone calls, and conducted over 35 briefings to the community, elected representatives and interest groups.

During the tender development, LEP established an Environmental Reference Group to bring key representatives and specialists from local environmental groups together with representatives from the LEP Project Team, working collaboratively to identify key environmental objects to be addressed by the contractors within their tender submissions.

LEP is targeting an IS ‘Excellent’ rating and has established the additional requirement for tenderers to achieve a minimum IS rating of 65 points, which exceeds the 50 points required to achieve an Excellent rating.

More information can be found on the Transurban and Logan Enhancement Project websites.

Inner City Bypass

In June 2016, Transurban announced entering into discussions with the Brisbane City Council to help with the assessment and delivery of the Inner City Bypass (ICB) Upgrade project.

The ICB is a major link in the road network with connections to Lutwyche Road, AirportlinkM7, Clem7, Legacy Way and the soon-to-be-upgraded Kingsford Smith Drive. It forms part of a critical inner-city motorway network for Brisbane.

The existing ICB is operating at up to 90 per cent capacity however will be severely over capacity by 2021, with this section of the ICB currently carrying more than 100,000 vehicles per day. The upgrade will see the ICB widened from three to four lanes between Legacy Way and Kingsford Smith Drive, reducing traffic congestion and increasing capacity for existing and future traffic demands.

As operators of the Legacy Way, Clem7 and AirportlinkM7 which connect to the ICB, Transurban plays a key role within the ICB’s associated road network. Current discussions with Council are non-binding, but we believe we could provide a number of innovations and enhancements to the project that would benefit motorists and the wider community.

Subject to discussions with Council, initial works are expected to start in late 2016 with construction expected to be completed in 2018.

More information can be found on the Brisbane City Council website.

NorthConnex

June 2016 marked the one-year anniversary of major work starting on the $3 billion NorthConnex project - a twin nine kilometre dual-lane tunnel in northern Sydney that will link the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at West Pennant Hills.

Once complete, NorthConnex will reduce travel times by approximately 15 minutes, allow motorists to bypass up to 21 sets of traffic lights and remove up to 5,000 trucks per day from Pennant Hills Road.

NorthConnex is using controlled blasting to assist with excavating the shafts leading to the tunnels. This brings considerable benefits to the local community including significant noise reduction and accelerated construction time for tunnel shaft excavation, compared to continuous rock breaking methods.

NorthConnex is targeting an IS ‘Excellent’ rating for the design and as built stages of the project to provide an independent benchmark of its sustainability in design, construction and operation. NorthConnex has recently lodged its design rating submission to ISCA for verification.

More information can be found on the Transurban and NorthConnex websites.

Community consultation

Our display centre in Pennant Hills provides the community with the latest details on the project, and in FY16 we hosted six pop-up community information sessions in local cafes between April and July 2016 as well as six Community Involvement Group (CIG) forums.

The Community Involvement Group (CIG) was formed in August 2015 broken into two sub-groups - north and south, which include representatives from the local community, Transurban, the construction contractor (Lend Lease Bouygues Joint Venture), and Roads and Maritime Services. The group is hosted by an independent chair and meets quarterly.

Key topics raised in this community forum in FY16 included updates on construction work and community concerns about noise, vibration and dust monitoring. These are high priorities on any construction site and the project team actively works to reduce community impacts using a number of controls:

  • Acoustic sheds, noise hoardings and buffer materials are used to surround tunnelling compounds and minimise noise, dust and light impacts
  • Equipment that can cause high vibration levels are located at safe working distances from sensitive sites
  • Ongoing monitoring of noise, vibration and dust to meet project guidelines
  • Case-by-case investigation and monitoring of community-reported impacts

These controls are documented in NorthConnex’s Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) and are consistent with the project’s Conditions of Approval and applicable NSW Environment Protection Authority guidelines. A summary of the communication and consultation activities undertaken to help mitigate potential noise and vibration impacts during excavation and tunnelling is available on the project’s website.

In mid-2017, an Air Quality Community Consultative Committee will be established to provide input prior to the opening and during the operation of NorthConnex. This committee will provide advice on the locations of community based air quality monitoring stations to ensure that local air quality is not adversely affected by traffic flow through the tunnel. The committee will include three representatives from the community and operate for a period of two years from the tunnel’s opening.

NorthConnex will establish a minimum of six ambient air quality monitors. These monitors will be in operation for a minimum of 12 months before the tunnel opens and remain for at least two years thereafter, to provide reliable data on air quality.

Hornsby Quarry

During FY16, Transurban and its construction contractor reached an agreement with Hornsby Shire Council and Roads and Maritime Service to use spoil from the NorthConnex tunnelling to support the rehabilitation of the nearby Hornsby Quarry into a recreational facility for the local community.

The Quarry covers approximately 35 hectares and was a hard rock quarry from the early 1900s until the late 1990s before being acquired by Council in 2002. The site is zoned for public recreation but large areas are currently unusable surrounding the unstable, water filled quarry void.


Above: Hornsby Quarry

The idea of filling the Quarry has been a long term challenge in the area, and this innovative approach of using spoil from NorthConnex will help create an enduring open space for the local community, provide an environmentally beneficial use for excavated spoil, and minimise the distances required for transporting spoil by 3.7 million truck kilometres compared to disposal at the next best alternative site. This will reduce traffic on the local road network, minimising congestion and substantially reducing vehicle emissions.


Above: concept image

CityLink Tulla Widening project

Construction commenced on the CityLink Tulla Widening project in October 2015, which involves adding new lanes across 24 kilometres of freeway from Power Street to Melbourne Airport. Transurban and its construction contractor CPB Contractors are delivering the Bulla Road to Power Street section of this project. VicRoads and its construction contractor Lendlease are delivering the Bulla Road to Melbourne Airport section.

Once complete in early 2019, the $1.3 billion project will:

  • Provide up to 30 per cent more capacity on the CityLink Tullamarine corridor
  • Improve travel times to and from Melbourne Airport
  • Create a safer road with a new freeway management system to manage traffic flow

Major works began in FY16 with a plan to minimise disruption for existing traffic and maintain a safe motorway during the upgrade. During the widening process all lanes on CityLink have remained open during peak periods, and a detailed review in FY16 confirmed that changed traffic conditions had not led to any increase in traffic incidents since work began. With emergency stopping lanes being removed as part of the temporary works, an additional incident response unit has been deployed along Western Link to ensure that any incidents are quickly addressed.

The CityLink Tulla Widening project is targeting an IS ‘Excellent’ rating to provide an independent benchmark of its sustainability in design, construction and operation.

More information can be found on the Transurban and CityLink Tulla Widening websites.

Community consultation

Transurban, CPB Contractors and VicRoads have maintained ongoing communication with the community about the project. A comprehensive communications and engagement program has involved activities such as:

  • Ongoing meetings with local stakeholders (community and residential groups, schools, local councils, motorist associations, freight companies, etc.)
  • Community ‘pop up’ information sessions in key areas
  • Door knocking residents close to work sites and letterbox drops with notification letters
  • Advertising major works and traffic impacts through radio, print and online channels
  • Sharing information through fact sheets, detour maps and video animations on the project website and social media platforms
  • Delivering quarterly construction update newsletters to residents along the project corridor

 

Landcare

The CityLink Tulla Widening project is partnering with Landcare Australia and the local community to improve the environmental amenity of two sites located within the Power Street to Bulla Road works section.

The Landcare projects are additional to the project’s landscape plans that will see more than 150,000 shrubs and trees planted in the area.

Landcare Australia’s environmental team will work closely with local councils and community groups to identify potential sites that will significantly benefit from rehabilitation activities and add to the overall health of the local environment.

Potential projects are being assessed based on their ability to provide the following benefits:

  • Address local vegetation priorities and local planning strategies
  • Increase cultural significance - either indigenous or non-indigenous
  • Improve condition of the riparian bushland corridor
  • Improve local recreation amenity
  • Increase availability of fauna habitat
  • Increase local biodiversity and vegetation connectivity
  • Enable community engagement

The Landcare projects have been funded by Transurban and are supported by CityLink Tulla Widening project partners VicRoads and CPB Contractors.

Western Distributor Project

The Western Distributor Project is a $5.5 billion proposal to provide Melbourne with a vital second river crossing, reducing congestion and travel times in the western suburbs and streamlining traffic through the broader network from Geelong to Pakenham. It is made up of three interrelated major projects: Western Distributor, Monash Freeway Upgrade and Webb Dock Access improvements.

Transurban is seeking to fund the project in partnership with the Victorian Government, which has committed a contribution of $1.46 billion to the project over the next four years.

The benefits of the project are expected to include:

  • Removing 6,000 trucks from local streets
  • Reducing daily peak time travel times by up to 20 minutes
  • Halving the current travel time for trucks travelling into the Port of Melbourne
  • Providing an $11 billion boost to the Victorian economy and 5,600 new jobs at the peak of construction

The project is being developed in partnership with the Victorian Government through a five-phase consultation, design and planning process. Since public announcement of the proposal in April 2015, Transurban and the Victorian Government have been consulting extensively with communities, council and industry about the Western Distributor’s design, planning and assessment.

Following a number of design updates through this consultation process, in July 2016, the project’s Reference Design was released to provide a base for tenderers to develop their own, more detailed design.

With the release of the Reference Design, preparation of the project’s Environment Effects Statement (EES) has begun and a Request for Tender has been issued to the construction industry. The EES includes 17 specialist studies to investigate the possible effects of the project and identify mitigation and management measures. The Request for Tender requires prospective contractors to use their experience to deliver designs and construction methods that ensure the best outcome for motorists and the community.

Community information hubs and pop-up displays are used in an ongoing manner to ensure people are aware of the Reference Design, next steps in the planning process and have opportunities to be involved in the project’s development.

The Western Distributor will play a role in the renewal of the urban communities in the west of Melbourne and a well-considered, integrated and high quality urban design outcome is desired. This has led to the development of extensive urban design guidance for the project, including ongoing involvement of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect and the establishment of an Urban Design Advisory Panel.

A sustainability policy has been developed for the Western Distributor which sets out a high level sustainability vision addressing desired social, economic and environmental outcomes for the delivery of the project. This includes a target for an IS ‘Excellent’ rating to provide an independent benchmark of its sustainability in design, construction and operation.

The project has also set local content requirements and will require a minimum local content of 89 per cent for the design and construction of the tunnel, road works and elevated structures, excluding the Tunnel Boring Machine and its ancillary goods and services (under the Victorian Industry Participation Policy).

The Western Distributor will also require 82 per cent local content in the supply and installation of the electronic Lane Use Management System and bidders are required to maximise the use of local steel. In addition, under the Major Projects Skills Guarantee, the Government has mandated that at least 10 per cent of the hours worked on the project must be provided by registered Victorian apprentices, Victorian registered trainees or engineering cadets.

More information can be found on the Transurban and Western Distributor websites.

Monash Freeway Upgrade

As a broader part of the Western Distributor project, the Monash Freeway Upgrade (MFU) includes road widening and other motorway upgrades between Chadstone and Pakenham, providing commuters with 30 kilometres of additional traffic lanes and room for an extra 2,000 vehicles during the peak.

These extra lanes will work alongside new Freeway Management System including new ramp signals, overhead Lane Use Management Signs and a new automatic incident detection system to improve traffic flow. Once the Upgrade is complete, the Monash Freeway will be home to one of the longest stretches of managed motorway in the world.

Transurban is partnering with VicRoads and the Victorian Government to deliver this project which is expected to provide a number of benefits:

  • Travel time reductions of 10 minutes a day for up to 200,000 motorists on the busiest sections
  • Reducing crashes causing serious injury by 20 per cent
  • Creating up to 400 jobs at the peak of construction
  • Providing an overall economic benefit to the state of around $100 million a year
  • Up to $30 million a year in savings on freight costs

More information can be found on the Transurban and Western Distributor websites.

Dynamic Speed Trial

A speed management trial developed by VicRoads in collaboration with Transurban and Royal Automobile Club of Victoria was launched by the Victorian Government in June 2016, allowing for travel speeds on the Monash Freeway – between High Street in Ashburton and Glenferrie Road in Toorak – to be increased from 80 km/hour to 100 km/hour when it is safe to do so.

The six-month trial commenced in July 2016 and is being rolled out in three phases: phase one will vary speeds at night, phase two will include night and off-peak periods including weekends, and phase three will run 24 hours a day including peak periods.

Existing technologies including closed circuit television cameras (CCTV), road sensors and overhead electronic signs will adjust the speed limit on the freeway in response to road conditions including increases and decreases in traffic volumes, weather conditions and time of day.

Transurban collaborated on steering and working group committees to plan and implement the trial which included comprehensive legal and technical reviews. The committees will remain in place for the trial’s duration. The dynamic speed trial may create opportunities to extend speed management trials across more roads in the near future, providing improved travel times under safe conditions.

395 Express Lanes

In November 2015, Transurban announced an agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to enter exclusive negotiations on a proposal for the 395 Express Lanes project.

The project involves an extension to the existing 95 Express Lanes for eight miles (11 kilometres) north to the Washington, DC border and a major upgrade to access in and around the Pentagon in Virginia.

The 395 Express Lanes will be developed by converting the two existing high occupancy lanes and adding an additional lane to create three reversible Express Lanes, with the same variable-pricing system as on Transurban’s 95 and 495 Express Lanes. The 395 Express Lanes will benefit these existing roads by easing congestion and improving traffic management across the Greater Washington Area network.

This upgrade will provide an ongoing subsidy to fund regional transit improvements in Greater Washington Area and support an estimated 1,500 local jobs.

With the extension of our operations, we are also ensuring that our community engagement and investment is expanded into these new regions. We seek to be good neighbours and long-term partners in the region, to respond to the needs of local organisations and benefit neighbourhoods located within the I-395 corridor. In FY16, Transurban USA launched a 395 Express Lanes Community Grant Program to support organisations that sustain, enhance or protect the local environment and neighbourhoods in the I-395 corridor. This program adds to existing community grants along the 95 and 495 Express Lanes.

Development activities and environmental studies will continue throughout FY17, with construction anticipated to commence in mid-2017.

More information can be found on the Transurban or 395 Express Lanes websites.

95 Express Lanes Southern extension

Transurban is working with VDOT on the development of a project to extend the 95 Express Lanes approximately eleven miles (16 km) south to the Fredericksburg area to help relieve congestion at the southern end for travellers in both the Express Lanes and the regular lanes.

Extensions being discussed include two separate projects:

  • An extension of two miles (3 km) agreed during FY16 for which construction is expected to begin by the end of 2016, with improvements available to drivers by 2018
  • An additional extension by nine miles (14 km) as part of Virginia’s Atlantic Gateway Project, which may be constructed from 2018 but is to be discussed further

In July 2016, Transurban joined with the Virginia Governor to officially announce the Express Lanes extension as a part of the broader Atlantic Gateway Project – a US$1.5 billion package of transportation improvements for rail and road along the Interstate 95 corridor.

The project will enhance passenger and freight rail along the corridor, improve reliability and capacity on the East Coast’s rail network, and increase bus services. The rail operator CSX Transport and Transurban have committed to partner with the state of Virginia to fund and deliver the project, with the Express Lanes extension to be developed as part of the existing 95 Express Lanes concession agreement.

Transurban partner, VDOT has secured Federal support for the project with the awarding of US$165 million in federal funds for the project, as part of a competitive ‘FASTLANE’ federal grant program against more than 200 other proposals.

More information can be found on the Transurban and Express Lanes websites.

I-66

VDOT announced that an I-66 upgrade project outside of the Capital Beltway will proceed with a design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) concession model.

The I-66 road corridor connects into the western side of Washington DC, intersecting Transurban’s 495 Express Lanes on the Beltway.

Improvements to I-66 are intended to combine multi-modal travel options to provide added capacity and more predictable travel times including:

  • Three regular lanes and two express lanes in each direction
  • High-frequency bus service with predictable travel times
  • Direct access between the Express Lanes and improved commuter ‘park and ride’ lots

Transurban has been shortlisted as one of two proposals in this competitive tender process with its partner Skanska.

As a part of our proposal, and consistent with the benchmarking of our Australian projects, Transurban and Skanska have committed to achieving an Envision Sustainability rating for the project. Envision is a rating system developed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure in the USA which provides guidance and benchmarking on sustainability best practice in planning, designing, building, and operating civil infrastructure.

More information about infrastructure sustainability rating systems can be found in the Procurement section of this Report.