Intermodal freight transport involves the transportation of freight in an intermodal container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation (e.g. rail, ship and truck), without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. The method reduces cargo handling, and so improves security, reduces damage and loss, and allows freight to be transported faster.
A 240 hectare Logistics Park is being constructed at Moorebank, a suburb south-west of Sydney, which includes an intermodal terminal to help Sydney manage the expected growth in freight moving through the city, and take trucks off the road network and onto a freight line providing access to Port Botany.
Golder has been involved in the overall project, which is being developed by QUBE Holdings Ltd, a diversified logistics and infrastructure company, since 2013. In 2017, construction of the first stage of the project commenced, comprising the Moorebank Precinct East (MPE) Stage 1 IMEX Terminal Facility project. This involves construction of civil engineering works for container storage and handling within part of the overall site, which is approximately 1 km long and 200 m wide. The bulk earthworks required to support and construct the IMEX Terminal Facility were completed in June 2018, and this represents a significant milestone in the overall project.
Other construction activities have since progressed across other parts of the site, including further bulk earthworks to support future warehouses and the completion of the Target Australia NSW Distribution Centre, which comprises over 37 000 m2 of warehouse area with a 1200 m2 office facility.
Golder has made major contributions to the broader terminal development in terms of sustainable development, including offering combined and consolidated advice on contamination and geotechnical issues, and developing practical, pragmatic and cost-effective solutions to address contamination and geotechnical risks, taking into account the development of the overall precinct area.
This combined approach allowed for use of in-situ ground improvement in place of the previously proposed excavation and replacement of 0.5 m of fill. This avoided some 10 000 truck movements, reduced the need to handle contaminated existing fill materials, and maintains space in landfill sites for other waste. We provided advice on using fill from Sydney tunnelling projects, which were identified as a potential source of high-quality fill in sufficient quantities. Sandstone has been imported from WestConnex to form a new fill platform to support construction and future permanent structures across the project.
Our scope on the project has developed to include production of earthwork specifications, completion of ground improvement trials and acting as the geotechnical representative for Tactical (our direct client) during construction. We have supervised construction works on site and provided advice to our client on how best to manage earthwork challenges and constraints on site in an ongoing role that currently will extend until late-2019. We have also provided engineering solutions to re-use site-won materials such as existing fill, topsoil, and residual and weathered shale material, achieving significant cost savings for our client by reducing the need for off-site material disposal.