Cover of Kookaburra Viaduct: First-World Infrastructure for a Developing Nation
Kookaburra Viaduct: First-World Infrastructure for a Developing Nation
  • Publication no: ABC2017-104-17
  • Published: 26 April 2017

The Kookaburra Viaduct connects Jacksons International Airport and the Waigani district, where the Papua New Guinea government offices are located, in Port Moresby. The purpose of the project was to provide an efficient and uninterrupted connection from the Airport into the centre of Port Moresby to service the heightened traffic expected for the 2015 Pacific Games being hosted by Papua New Guinea. The Pacific Games, comprising 21 nations competing across 28 sporting events over a twoweek period, was estimated to attract over 4,500 athletes and officials as well thousands of tourists to the city.

The 600 m long viaduct supports a new highway with 2 lanes of traffic in each direction over 19 spans to accommodate the increase in traffic which the existing infrastructure would be ill-equipped to accommodate. A number of challenges were encountered by the design and construct team of Opus and Hawkins throughout the design and construction of this unique project. These challenges included the compressed timeframe for both design and construction, imposed by the strict deadline of the Pacific Games, the unusually long lead times for materials and machinery sourced from Australia and New Zealand, the lack of existing construction infrastructure and skilled personnel, and the lack of adequate local design standards.

The aforementioned challenges were surmounted throughout design and construction through collaboration with the wider project team, including Hawkins and the National Capital District Commission, and implementation of best for project solutions to unique challenges. This paper will detail how the project team successfully delivered first-world infrastructure for a developing nation in a timely manner while achieving very good client satisfaction.