Brisbane’s construction industry continues through Covid-19 shutdown

While most industries have been impacted by the Covid-19 partial lockdown, the construction industry, in particular, has been charging ahead as it is deemed an essential service.

Since the majority of people have been isolating at home, significant progress has been made on a number of projects, specifically the Queensland Government’s Cross River Rail.

According to the authority, strict containment protocols have also been initiated at each site to ensure the safety of workers and the maintenance of the Project’s momentum to support the Queensland economy.

At the Roma Street end of the colossal construction zone that spans 5.9 kilometres of underground tunneling, an old Transit Centre pedestrian overpass has been removed in 47 hours, allowing for the continued demolition of the Transit Centre buildings.

A new acoustic shed for construction of the underground rail and Northern Busway tunnels has been erected on-site which will act as a key portal entrance to the works below ground.

At Albert Street Station, demolition has been completed on both 96 Albert Street and the adjacent commercial buildings, with a pedestrian tunnel now linking Mary and Charlotte Streets along Albert Street.

At Woolloongabba, a new Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared which takes in all land within the former Woolloongabba PDA as well as land east of Main Street, including the Gabba.

The new PDA supports the planning and development of new open spaces, residential housing, commercial offices and retail which is expected to completely transform Woolloongabba.

The inclusion of the Gabba within the PDA allows for further concept planning for a possible station-to-stadium connection and forecourt plaza, which would make game-days easier and safer.

Early works on the Brisbane Metro have already commenced in South Brisbane to allow for the future construction of a new underground station.

A council spokesman said that South Brisbane works include relocating and constructing a new sewer pump station at Alexander Smith Place Park in partnership with Queensland Urban Utilities.

These works are expected to take about 12 months to complete, subject to weather and site conditions.

More early works in South Brisbane are expected to start in the coming months, including an upgrade to the Peel Street, Stanley Street and Grey Street intersection and works to relocate sewer infrastructure along Grey Street and Melbourne Street.

Additionally, preliminary works are occurring at School Road, Rochedale to prepare for future Metro depot construction that will continue throughout 2020.

In 2020, Council expects to receive an initial pilot Brisbane Metro vehicle to commence testing in local operating conditions.

Construction sites across the city also remain open and progressing as normal. Last week the Queensland Government relaxed heavy vehicle restrictions within the Queen’s Wharf Priority Development Area.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said vehicles greater than 12.5 metres in length will now be able to enter and exit the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane PDA between 7:30am to 9:00am during the morning peak and 4pm and 6:30 pm during the afternoon peak.

“The Palaszczuk Government is looking at ways it can support the construction industry to ensure work continues during this difficult time,” Mr Dick said.

“The relaxation of the lockout periods for the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane project continues our commitment to driving economic development and support construction activity in a safe and efficient manner.

“In normal circumstances, the heavy vehicle lockout periods are an important way to manage peak period traffic in and out of the CBD. However, in these unprecedented times and with a significant reduction in CBD peak period traffic, I have lifted the heavy vehicle lockout period.”

Building cores of the main hotel and residential buildings are now becoming visible from the Riverside Expressway. The new riverfront promenade in front of the expressway has also progressed significantly over the last two months.

Meanwhile, early site preparation works have continued to enable the start of construction on the Neville Bonner Pedestrian Bridge.

Contractor Fitzgerald has erected a temporary site works area along the South Bank forecourt in preparation for construction to commence.

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