Matt Davis

Matt Davis

Abstract | Achieving improved fauna connectivity during highway upgrade projects: Case study of the Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway (CR2SM)

The $812.95 million Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway (CR2SM) project involves upgrading the Bruce Highway to 6-lanes between Caloundra Road and the Sunshine Motorway. Led by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR), the project utilises an Early Contractor Involvement delivery, with the Construction Joint Venture (JV), Fulton Hogan Seymour Whyte JV, supported by the Design JV of ARUP and Jacobs.

The ecological constraints and opportunities were recognised during planning studies and a Scope of Works Technical Criteria (SWTC) was developed by DTMR with rigorous fauna infrastructure requirements. The SWTC were based on previous project learnings and preliminary ecological assessments to identify key species and fauna corridors.

The design and implementation of the fauna infrastructure would have to meet the requirements of the SWTC, all within the constraints of an existing highway alignment. These included three new culvert underpasses to cater for Koala, amphibians and small mammals, an arboreal mammal rope bridge and augmentations to bridges to improve fauna passage over two major interchange upgrades and widening of 7km of highway. The design of the fauna infrastructure, with the involvement of ecologists, road engineers and the Construction JV, has been a complex process to balance the minimum requirements for the target fauna species, with design, cost and constructability constraints.

When implementing fauna infrastructure designs into a highly constrained environment, a process of multidisciplinary review was required to capture engineering, road design and constructability elements. Significant lessons have been learnt during the planning and design process. These include the need to identify site design constraints early and greater engagement with technical advisors and engineering designers during the design phase.

It may be beneficial to formalise this approach for future linear infrastructure upgrade projects in Queensland, leading to increased awareness and knowledge of fauna infrastructure across engineering and construction disciplines.

Bio | Matt Davis

Matt has 12 years’ experience in the management of ecological impacts on natural systems. He has an in depth understanding of the requirements of civil infrastructure development, including specialist experience in linear infrastructure projects such as roads and rail. Matt also has experience working in urban and rural areas constrained by significant ecological features. Through project work, Matt has completed numerous ecological impact assessments, including the development of practical mitigation measures during planning, design and construction phases of projects. He has experience working with planners, engineers, designers and contractors to protect environmental features, while keeping to time-frames and project budgets. Matt has a thorough understanding of the State and Federal legislative requirements around the planning, construction and operation of linear infrastructure projects. He has worked on local and State development water, freight rail, port and airport projects. Matt has completed environmental planning and monitoring work extensively across eastern Australia and understands the specific constraints within the region.