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Project: Hexham Relief Roads EIA Specialist Studies

Client: The Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC)

Location: Hunter Region, NSW

Services Provided: Soil and Water Assessment, Acid Sulphate Soils Assessment, Construction Environmental Management Plans

Project Details:
As part of the Upper Hunter Valley Alliance (UHVA), KMH is responsible for the management and delivery of the Hexham Relief Roads EIS – one of the first rail infrastructure projects to be assessed in NSW under Part 5.1 of the EP&A Act.  The project comprises the construction of five Relief Roads; new turnouts, return curves and associated track changes; installation of new signal infrastructure; earth works; and ancillary infrastructure including vehicle access tracks, temporary construction compounds and stockpile sites.  The project location is on the floodplain of the Hunter River and adjacent to Hexham Swamp comprising wetlands protected by State and Commonwealth legislation and international treaties.  The environment is highly constrained due to shallow groundwater tables, poor drainage, very flat grades and acid sulphate soils.

KMH prepared the soil and water assessment and acid sulphate soils assessment for the EIS and have gone on to prepare the construction stage Soil and Water Management Plan, Acid Sulphate Soils Management Plan and provide significant input to the groundwater management plan and water monitoring program.  Innovative solutions to surface water and groundwater management were developed to overcome the site limitations and difficulties posed on traditional ERSED controls, due to the high groundwater and restricted construction footprint.

KMH worked integrally with the design, construction and geotechnical teams to optimise the project design, reduce environmental risks and identify cost-savings for construction.  The Construction Soil and Water Management Plan received very positive feedback when subjected to external peer review.