Gladstone Port Access Road nearly complete after VizMAP visualisation convinces Council

Wednesday 24th November 2004
from Mark Prideaux,

Project Manager (Gladstone Port Access Road),
Queensland Department of Main Roads


The Gladstone Port Access Road (GPAR) project was initiated for a need to have a dedicated heavy vehicle access to the Port of Gladstone (central coastal Queensland). The current route for heavy vehicles uses a mix of local streets through the Gladstone central business district (CBD). The route selected for the GPAR was an existing rail corridor that ran under the main street of Gladstone in the heart of the CBD. The rail corridor had to be widened, the rail line relocated to accommodate the road and a concrete bridge (overpass) had to built to span the rail marshalling yards to access the port precinct.  A significant number of parcels of land, including businesses, houses and a church, had to be resumed and demolished to make way for the GPAR.

Use of the Visualisation

Due to the nature of the project and the impact on the community there was a great deal of community angst and opposition. Main Roads undertook a significant Public Consultation exercise to inform the wider community and the major stakeholders about the project and to seek public comment. The visualisation proved to be the most valuable tool we had during this consultation phase. It is always difficult to throw a set of plans on the table in front of people and expect them to visualise, in their minds, what it means.

With the VizMAP 3D visualisation database we were able to give the public a real life representation of the proposed structure. We were able to give them the view of it from their verandah and back yard, etc. as we showed them the model.

We ran it on two computers during a week-long display in Gladstone. On one machine we ran a continuous pre-recorded loop of a fly through that was projected onto a large screen, whilst on the other we were able to show people, one on one, particular points of interest. The VizMAP solution was extremely valuable for a project like this where people had so many preconceived misconceptions about the finished product.

The project is now well into the construction phase with an anticipated opening in late January 2005. We used the model several times even in the pre-tender phase to better illustrate to potential contractors the complexity and constraints on constructability for some sections of the job. I am continually using at presentations to engineering students, school children, etc.