Adelaide Ovingham Level Crossing Removal Project wins excellence in road safety award

Level Crossing Removal Project comes out on top using offsite manufactured cantilevered retaining walls.

Project: Ovingham Level Crossing Removal Project.

Head contractor: PTP Alliance (McConnell Dowell, Arup and Mott Macdonald with the SA Department for Infrastructure and Transport).

Master Precaster: The Reinforced Earth Company.

Adelaide’s Ovingham Level Crossing Removal Project has been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Road Safety Award at the 2024 Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) Australasia Awards. The project involved the removal of the level crossing at Torrens Road, Ovingham, to improve community safety and amenity, as well as travel times and bus reliability.

The accolade is the latest in a series of recognitions for the project, which has also received the Civil Contractors Federation Earth Award, the SA State IPWEA Award, and was a finalist in the National Banksia Sustainability Awards, the longest-running sustainability awards in the country.

Retaining Wall Technology
At the heart of this successful project is the groundbreaking use of the TechWall™ system, developed by National Precast Master Precaster, The Reinforced Earth Company. This new retaining wall technology, never before used in Australia but widely acclaimed in America and Europe, is now being utilised in projects across the country. Combining offsite manufactured precast and in-situ concrete construction, it delivers a highly efficient and robust cantilever retaining wall system.

The system features full-height facing precast panels with pre-attached perpendicular counterforts, manufactured offsite and delivered ready to install. These panels are then jointed on site to a structural concrete footing, streamlining the construction process and significantly reducing both time and disruption. This is the first Australian infrastructure project to adopt this technology.

Safety and Connectivity
The removal of the level crossing was a crucial step in addressing the significant traffic congestion and safety risks that plagued this busy inner northern suburb of Adelaide. The ageing infrastructure, coupled with a growing population, necessitated a comprehensive solution. The $196 million project was jointly funded by the Australian and South Australian Governments.

Executed in multiple phases, the project involved the construction of a 180 metre long, 25-metre-wide bridge connecting to two approach ramps, with three lanes city-bound and two outbound lanes.

Innovative engineering techniques were employed throughout to minimise disruption and maintain safety, reflecting the project’s commitment to excellence. This included a detailed Safety Management Study that identified a design solution to avoid the relocation or protection of a 350mm diameter transmission pressure gas main that lay beneath the bridge. 

Future Projects
The Ovingham project’s success extends beyond its immediate impact on traffic flow and safety. It serves as a blueprint for similar infrastructure projects, demonstrating the potential for transformative developments to enhance communities. The project has delivered approximately 30,000 sqm of new public space, including pedestrian and cycle paths, a futsal court, a half basketball court, a nature play area, and local road and footpath connections. Additionally, it features stunning urban designs that translate Aboriginal stories into visual elements, further enriching the local area.

Riccardo Musella, Managing Director of The Reinforced Earth Company in Australia, expressed his pride in bringing this technology to the country and working with the PTP Alliance. “This system will revolutionise retaining walls,” Musella commented. “It is perfect for narrow cut situations or applications with extreme obstructions within the fill zone and offers complete aesthetic versatility.”


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