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Lining up subject choices at high school that lead to real-life job opportunities can be challenging for some students, but not for sixteen Year 10 maths students from Byford Secondary College.
The young maths minds got a heads up on future career paths with a VIP site tour of the new Thomas Road Bridge for the METRONET Byford Rail Extension Project, just before it was officially opened to traffic on 15 November.
With 417 precast concrete panels, 370 tonnes of reinforcement, 1900m3 of concrete and 130,000 tonnes of sand used on the project to date, the bridge was the perfect ‘classroom’ for the students to focus on roles that geometry and engineering play in bridge works.
Students walked onto the bridge to view materials used in construction and observe an in-situ concrete barrier pour and installation of steel bridge screens. They were also briefed on the lifting operation used to place large bridge beams, as well as details on the structure, weight, forces and stresses of the bridge, and the overall design and aesthetics.
“By giving students a ‘real-life’ experience like a site tour where we can showcase and explain some of the key aspects of building a major piece of infrastructure like the new Thomas Road Bridge, we are able to highlight the different trades and jobs available to them in the construction and STEM fields and open their minds to possible career paths,” Laing O’Rourke Project Leader and tour guide Michael Crocetta explained.
With the bridge now open, vehicles can travel in a temporary single-lane alignment until mid-2023 when completion of the project will allow for dual lanes. The bridge will also include an underpass with cycling, pedestrian and horse-riding paths.