Westlink M7 - Westlink M7

ClientAbigroup, Leighton, SMEC, AECOMLocationAustralia, NSW

Project Summary

12d Model was used for visualisation, design interrogation and the “pegging out” of Australia’s largest urban road project, the Westlink M7 (previously known as the Western Sydney Orbital).

The Westlink M7 filled the longest remaining gap in the orbital road network of motorways around Sydney. The Westlink M7 is a 40km motorway with dual carriageways and lies between the M5/Hume Highway at Prestons and the M2 at West Baulkham Hills.


The Challenge

The construction of Westlink M7 offered significant social, environmental and economic benefits, including:

  • safer and more efficient road transport for passenger vehicles and freight in western Sydney

  • good access to employment opportunities for the people of western Sydney by linking existing/future industrial and residential areas

  • improved access to other growing cities and regions, including the Central Coast, Newcastle, Canberra and the Illawarra

  • faster travel times between key western Sydney suburbs.

The Abigroup Leighton Joint Venture (ALJV) undertook the design and construction of the Motorway, which opened at the end of 2005.

SMEC/AECOM were the designers for ALJV and set up a dedicated design team on site. 12d Model was used extensively for stormwater drainage design on the project. Philip Campbell (SMEC), leader of the drainage design team, said, “12d Model was used for all aspects of the drainage design, including layout of pit and pipe networks, measuring catchment areas and calculating time of concentration, design of onsite detention and water quality basins, and transverse drainage.”


The Solution

12d Solutions worked closely with the design team at the start of the project to develop tools for the design/sizing of basins and for locating headwalls for transverse drainage. These routines greatly assisted in the design of the stormwater elements. Mr Campbell added, “12d Model’s ability to produce quality output directly to the printer enabled me to plot a drawing just minutes before a meeting, and table the latest design at the meeting.”

“Abigroup has used 12d Model for nearly seven years,” said Brett Lehmann, Survey Manager, ALJV. “Because its developers are a local company, 12d Solutions, we have been able to work closely with them and have input into the software’s development.”

12d Model was also used on this project to download and analyse the design, and then convert that information to TP Stakeout files for use with the Leica Total Station and to guide the surveyors in pegging out the motorway.

"We are also using 12d Model to help us visualise the designs and so interrogate them to ensure they are viable as well as present the designs to third parties such as other contractors, the Government, community groups, etc.,” said Mr Lehmann at the time. “We are able to create a virtual drive through of the motorway on the computer and test it with the engineer in a ‘live’ environment, so to speak.”

To create the virtual images of the planned road, ALJV took the design information and then used 12d Model software to combine it with huge raster files, drape it over tins and then output the information as a 3D image or drive through.


The Result

“12Model is fast, intuitive, easy to use and good value for money,” said Mr Lehmann. “And the 12d Solutions people provide a prompt and reliable service – a fundamental requirement when you need support on a project of this size.”

12d Model has been used on many of the other major road projects around Sydney, including the M2 and Eastern Distributor.

“As 12d Model has matured, we have added many features which meet the needs of engineers and surveyors such as raster modules, visualisation capabilities and drainage modules,” said Dr Lee Gregory, Managing Director of 12d Solutions Pty Ltd. “These features, plus our ability to handle images of all sizes and our integration with TP SetOut and then TP StakeOut, has seen 12d Model become the software of choice for large road projects.”

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