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Australia's largest road construction project uses Trimble

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TRIMBLE has been selected as the preferred supplier of machine control and survey equipment for Thiess John Holland, the lead contractor building Australia's largest road project, the EastLink in Melbourne.

With total construction costs of $2.5 billion (US$1.9 billion), the scale of work required for timely completion of Melbourne's EastLink is beyond that ever tackled before on any single infrastructure project in Australia.

EastLink's three-lane, freeway-standard road is expected to be built over three and a half years.

Construction includes two million square meters of paved road, more than eighty bridges, seventeen interchanges and 1.6k three-lane twin tunnels.

The project will deliver Melbourne's second fully-electronic tollway, comprising about 45k of freeway-standard road connecting the city's eastern and south-eastern suburbs.

Connecting the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne's east to the Frankston Freeway in the south-east, EastLink is expected to become a major commuter road and a key intra-city arterial route.

Responsibility for EastLink's design and construction lies with Thiess John Holland. The joint venture commenced major construction in March 2005.

According to Greg Sparkman, Thiess John Holland's General Manager Project Wide Delivery, smart technology will be the key to achieve productivity gains in such a short time frame.

"With 7.5 million cubic meters of soil to be moved, the traditional method of putting stakes in the ground to guide the machinery was never going to be satisfactory," said Mr Sparkman. "Trimble technology has addressed that problem for us and has opened all sorts of opportunities on this project to increase productivity."

Ultimate Positioning, Trimble's distributor of 3D machine guidance and survey solutions in Melbourne, has already installed four Trimble NetRS base stations and a Trimble SNB 900 radio network along the 39k EastLink route.

Other Trimble equipment that will be used includes - two BladePro 3D systems for graders to run from ATS total stations, four BladePro 3D GPS systems for graders optioned to swap to ATS, four dual-antenna SiteVision systems for dozers six Trimble S6 Robotic Total Stations and six Trimble SPS 780 GPS Rovers with internal radios.

Within months, two-way communications between the design office and construction equipment will be installed, allowing designs to be immediately uploaded into machines and constructed information relayed back to the office.

ConnectEast Group is the concessionaire for EastLink. It was awarded the contract to finance, design, construct and operate EastLink for a period of approximately 39 years, beginning in late 2004. The tollroad is due to begin operations in late 2008.

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