Big beams back jobs

Mega beams being installed across Victoria's Big Build program are supporting thousands of jobs across the state as projects continue to deliver vital major road and rail upgrades.

More than 50,000 jobs are expected to be supported across Victoria’s Big Build that not only benefit the construction industry but also support jobs right across the Victorian economy.

Melton pre-casting concrete factory Westkon has supplied almost 450 beams to the M80 Upgrade, the Monash Freeway Upgrade, the South Gippsland Highway Realignment and the Mordialloc Freeway.

The use of pre-made concrete beams and panels helps speed up works at level crossing removal projects sites, meaning drivers and train commuters face shorter disruptions.

Over the past few weeks, 30 beams have been installed as part of the M80 Upgrade, forming brand new entry and exit ramps at Edgars Road. The beams each weigh up to 80 tonnes and measure up to 38 metres in length.

By the end of May, 140 beams will have been installed for the twin bridges over Waterways on the Mordialloc Freeway, with another 112 to come across the entire project. 112 of these beams are being installed as part of the Monash Freeway Upgrade, and 48 beams will be installed on the South Gippsland Highway Realignment.

On the Regional Rail Revival program, 36 mega beams were needed for the superstructure of the new Avon River bridge, each weighing 60 tonnes and measuring 28m long and 1.5m high. Pre-cast concrete was also used for the Ballarat Line Upgrade. It was used to build platforms, stairs and walls of the new Cobblebank Station.

Concrete beams and panels for new road and rail bridges in Werribee, Coburg, Toorak, Frankston, and Dandenong. At Greens Road, Dandenong South, 60 beams weighing in at 7000 tonnes was lifted into place last month.

Every dollar spent during construction indirectly supports jobs throughout the economy and due to the sheer volume of work currently underway. 38,000 indirect jobs are expected to be supported in 2021.

For every 100 jobs created during construction an average of 206 indirect jobs are supported. These jobs include manufacturing, health services, education, finance, accommodation and food supplies and are all playing an essential role in helping the Victorian economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.