Cargo Carried

Here’s a breakdown of what we transported on this project:



These massive concrete elements sit on top of columns and support the bridge deck above.



Coming in sets of 17, each segment had to be installed by a specialised launching gantry crane over Footscray Rd.



The only components not coming from Benalla, the bridge planks measured up to 25m in length and were transported from Echuca.


Super Tees

These precast bridge beams weighed in at 80 tons and are designed to carry the concrete road deck above.

The West Gate Tunnel Project (WGTP) precast concrete transport scope consisted of various oversize/overmass components manufactured in Benalla, which required transport into the WGTP site in Melbourne. ARES transported around 2,000 components over a 4-year period, including planks, capitals, crossheads, matchcast bridge sections and Super Tees.

Melbourne’s Megaproject.

The West Gate Tunnel project was a huge infrastructure undertaking initiated by the Victorian Government to relieve traffic on the West Gate Bridge and provide an alternate crossing of the Yarra River west of the city centre. The project’s centrepiece was the twin tunnels under the Yarra itself, but also included multiple bridges, connecting on-ramps and an elevated duplication of Footscray Rd.  It is these bridges and elevated roadways which required the precast concrete components that ARES delivered.

Colossal Crossheads.

At over 140 tonnes, the concrete “crossheads” which sit on top of each bridge pier or column are the heaviest components transported by ARES to date. ARES engineered and designed a custom transport frame for the crossheads which kept the centre of gravity of the massive components as low as possible whilst spreading the load evenly to the trailers, which also had to be specially modified to handle the weight.

Due to their size and weight, the crossheads had to be transported at night, with multiple slowdowns (some down to 5km/h on the Hume Hwy) mandated en route to ensure safe passage over bridges and culverts.  A full complement of accredited pilot vehicles along with a VMS board escorted the load to its destination.


The starting point for most components was the WGTP Benalla precast yard. Here, components were loaded onto the trailers before the trucks set off down the Hume Highway towards Melbourne. Once on the outskirts of Melbourne, the loads took various routes through the metropolitan area to get to the WGTP site, depending on component type, time of day, permit conditions and roadworks.

The exception were the bridge planks, which were manufactured in Echuca. These came via the Northern Highway before joining up with the Hume Highway at Broadford and then from there, taking the same route as the other components into Melbourne.

Super Size Tees.

At up to 80 tonnes heavy and 24 metres long, the “Super Tee” concrete bridge beams were some of the trickiest cargo to transport from Benalla to Melbourne. Some thinking outside the square was required to come up with a transport solution which was up to the task. Using a 4-axle low loader at the front and a jinker trailer at the rear, Ares was able to overcome the combined challenge of weight AND extreme dimensions.

Fast Matchcast.

A large part of the WGTP scope was the duplication of Footscray Rd with an elevated roadway, which would be constructed using pre-cast concrete segments called matchcast. Each span of roadway had 17 matchcast segments, which would be installed using a state of the art launching gantry crane. At the peak of construction, Ares were delivering up to 50 matchcast per week.

To achieve such high delivery rates, Ares designed custom stools which would allow the matchcast to be self-offloaded on site, reducing the turnaround time significantly and allowing trucks to make the return journey to Benalla in the same day. On especially busy weeks, Ares actually delivered matchcast around the clock, with trucks and drivers working 12-hour shifts split into night and day shifts.


Planks were the sole component for the project to come from Echuca rather than Benalla.   Without the convenience of being situated right next to the Hume Highway, the winding route took these long precast concrete beams (up to 25m in length) through Shepparton, Seymour and finally down to the site in Melbourne.

ARES’ extendable trailers were able to make short work of these planks.  After all, they’re designed to transport 70m long wind turbine blades!

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