Main Roads WA's Vision for a Sustainable Future
Main Roads WA are gold partners at the 2019 ISCA Western Australia Conference. The two-times IS Organisational Leadership Award winning transport agency have had a record-breaking year, having achieved the highest-ever scoring certified IS Project, NorthLink WA Southern Section. The NorthLink project also won two IS awards, the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2017, as well at the IS Impact Award in the same year.
The following excerpt is a thought exercise for how Main Roads might continue to embed sustainability in infrastructure development to provide improved outcomes for the community of Western Australia:
It’s a beautiful spring day in WA and you decide to take your e-bike for an evening ride along a new cycle path. The e-bike gives you the benefit of being active, but also the confidence to tackle longer rides and bigger hills due to its electric assistance.
Your ride takes you across the first 3D printed bridge in Western Australia. The 3D printing process produced a stunning design, with shapes not able to be created in any other manner. By printing the exact structure required, significant savings were achieved on the materials required to build the structure.
You pause at the top of a hill. There’s a shade structure here, providing a great view of the adjoining road. You can see the new fauna land-bridge, helping to prevent the islanding effect for local wildlife. The bridge is enhanced by a living green wall, which helps soften the bridge into the landscape and emphasizes its role in protecting local ecology.
There’s also a subtle sign here and you scan its code, accessing the local stories about connecting people and place. It’s a great way for locals and tourists to understand stories of the land, helping support a broader understanding of cultural heritage.
Looking down the road, you see the increasing number of electric vehicles driving along it. With no tailpipe emissions, it feels more pleasant and healthier to go for a bike ride. You’ve also heard the roads vehicles are driving on are increasingly being constructed with recycled materials, including concrete, rubber and even plastic being used in some locations. It’s great to know these roads are reusing materials previously just dumped at the end of their first life.
After your break from cycling, it’s starting to get dark and you decide to head home. Along the way you see lights on the path starting to come on, dimly lighting the way in the distance but, as you approach each light, it gets brighter then dims again once you pass. Another small, but exciting step in ensuring safety and accessibility for the path while minimising the amount of power and emissions used.
As you complete your ride, you think of all of the ways these projects and travel-related innovations are becoming more and more sustainable. It makes you wonder what new, exciting initiatives will appear in the projects of tomorrow.