Hunter Expressway, Hunter Valley, NSW Hunter Expressway, Hunter Valley, NSW Hunter Expressway, Hunter Valley, NSW Hunter Expressway, Hunter Valley, NSW

Hunter Expressway, Hunter Valley, NSW

Project featuring the VSoL System

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General Information

Thiess, in alliance with Parsons Brinkerhoff (PB) and Hyder Consulting, has been awarded the eastern section of the $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway Project in NSW. The Alliance section is 13.3km long and the project involves building a four-lane divided highway from the end of the Newcastle Link Road to Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley. The new Hunter Expressway will cut travel times between Newcastle and the Hunter region by 28 minutes and will relieve congestion between Newcastle and the towns of Thornton, Maitland and Rutherford with forecasted reductions in traffic of 15,000 to 30,000 vehicles per day from the current level of 60,000. Included in the project is the construction of three High Viaducts over mine subsidence areas.

Key features of the project include:

  • 13.3 kilometres of freeway
  • $60 million of mine subsidence foundation treatment
  • 2 million cubic metres of earthworks
  • 3 viaduct bridges (840m long, 40m high and 20,000m2 bridge deck)
  • 29 VSoL® Retained Earth™ walls, applications ranging from tight access piled bridge abutments through to extensive road widening’s.
  • 16 other bridges (overpasses etc 14,000m2 bridge deck).

Hunter Expressway, Hunter Valley, NSW


The Expressway will support the Hunter region where traffic is forecast to grow at about 4 per cent a year, and will meet the growing freight task of the region which is forecast to increase by 30 per cent in coming years.

The VSoL® Retained Earth™ System was chosen as the successful system for all the reinforced soil structures. A variety of precast panel finishes have been chosen: both vertical and horizontal ribbed in addition to exposed aggregate panels.

Retaining Solutions scope of works involved the installation of: VSoL® Retained Earth™ panels; corner units; VSoL® reinforcing mesh; gravel encapsulated chimney drains; spreading & compaction of imported RSW select backfill. The entire construction of the Retained Earth™ walls were staged due to access which required constant use of RSW stockpile and materials handling using loader/excavator/rock slinger/articulated dump trucks and/or truck/dog combinations for backfilling operations. All embankment construction was to be carried out in accordance with NSW RTA R58 & R44 specifications.

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Project Specs

  • Application - Pile Bridge Abutment & Road Widening
  • Product - VSoL System
  • Finish - Plain Grey Ribbed & Exposed Aggregate
  • Area - 15,000m2
  • Max. Height - 12m
  • Length - 2km
  • Loadings - 20kPa & Bridge Loadings & Crash Barriers
  • Design life - 100 years
  • Owner - RTA
  • Client - HEA
  • Construction - 12 months

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