Majura Parkway project manager Malcolm Thomson at his site office. Photo: Melissa Adams
Majura Parkway's chief builder, Malcolm Thomson, hopes to inflict as little pain as possible on commuters.
The son of a Scottish sea captain, Mr Thomson, pictured below, will oversee construction of two bridges and a 11.5 kilometre dual carriageway due for completion in 2016.
The road will reduce from 20 to seven minutes the journey past Canberra Airport, and link the Monaro and Federal highways.
Majura Park roadworks
Aerial shots of Majura Parkway roadworks. Photo: Geoff Comfort
Previously, Mr Thomson, a civil engineer, helped build Hong Kong's offshore airport and Taiwan's high-speed rail.
He has brought with him some of the workforce from his last project, civil earthworks on Queensland's Australia Pacific LNG site, which was twice the size of the $288 million Majura Parkway.
Mr Thomson said taking charge of a new crew, including workers from the Cotter Dam expansion, which is coming to completion, was exciting.
A map showing the planned Majura Parkway route.
''It's getting a whole team together, getting the dynamics, getting a learning curve, getting everybody on board and giving them ownership and providing that energy to crank everybody up within a good framework,'' Mr Thomson said.
He reckons motorists tuned into and followed road builders' directions within three hours of work starting in January.
Almost 300 staff from principal infrastructure company Fulton Hogan and Hewatt Earthworks will work with the moving traffic. Their project director said the flow won't become any more tedious.
''What we are going to do is shift Morshead Drive off the alignment, but we will maintain the capacity, so it's not going to affect the motorists.''
The monster trucks, scrapers and GPS graders would avoid working at peak hours, except once or twice, and will instead work at night for complex tasks at Fairbairn and Pialligo avenues.
''It keeps the pain away from the general public,'' Mr Thomson said. A whole other world of pain was dodged when the workers unearthed relics from an old army base from 1915.
''We found an unidentified ordinance. We got the whole site cleared by an external party,'' Mr Thomson said.
The workers have caught and relocated vulnerable striped legless lizards, given golden sun moth larvae to the University of Canberra and transplanted endangered Hoary Sunray flowers.
Forty-five kilometres of trenches are dug for relocating services such as optic fibre cabling, and lines of orange flags hang as barriers over utility routes.
On Dairy Road, workers are raising to 11 metres an abutment that will settle and compact to eight before piles are driven through it at the spot where a bridge over the Molonglo River will be launched.
''That's a driver for the whole project - get that up and launch each bridge, and when we finish, everything else will be finished,'' Mr Thomson said.