NorthConnex Update: Tackling a Data Tsunami

by | Oct 11, 2018


The NorthConnex project involves the surveying, design and construction of Australia’s longest and deepest tunnelled motorway. The road tunnel project located in Sydney’s north-west will connect the M2 Motorway in West Pennant Hills and the M1 Pacific Motorway in Wahroonga. When completed the tunnel will improve freight traffic, road safety, traffic flow, and reduce congestion, and air and sound pollution. At 16.3km total length, NorthConnex is longer than the Eastern Distributor, M5 and Cross City Tunnels combined. The deepest part of the tunnel is 90m below ground where it bypasses under the Sydney Metro North West Tunnel at Beecroft.

NorthConnex Tunnel Under Construction

The sheer scale of the project presented unique challenges in design, survey and construction. NorthConnex was awarded the 2016 Overall 12d Innovation Award for the innovative ways 12d Model and 12d Synergy were used. This enabled NorthConnex to deliver a successful, cost-effective and high-quality project within tight timeframes.

NorthConnex Fast Facts

•  4 ventilation shafts, measuring 210m total depth •  20 road headers excavated 2.25 million (yes, that’s million) cubic meters of material working simultaneously 24/7 at the project’s peak. •  2,000 workers on site at the peak •  75,000 fieldwork submissions at 25 GB •  5 million survey points, of which 3.5 million are as-built •  2,000+ tunnel profiles (all layers)

Managing the Data Tsunami

12d Synergy was innovatively used to collect and manage the data tsunami the project entailed: 880,000 files (3.9 TB) with 1.6 million file changes. With 12d Synergy, this data was reduced by 80+%! The project generated an extraordinary amount of design and survey data.

Growing need of data management

This data had to be systemically managed to ensure the project was delivered in line with its constant time, cost and quality pressures. 12d Synergy substantially reduced the size of projects. As an example, one 8.2 GB project (65,000 elements, 900,000 points) was reduced to only 1.3 GB – that’s over 80% reduction. Five million duplicates were skipped and 180 million attributes were exported. The file transfer time was slashed from 13 minutes to just 2 minutes.

Data Reduction from Data Management System

The Key Takeaway: Get Your Data Management System in Place

Watch David Mares (Surveyor – Bouygues Construction) and Matthew Monk (Civil Designer – Contractor) as they present an update to the massive NorthConnex project and discuss overcoming the new challenges the project faced over the past two years. The presentation will address: •  Attribute data (metadata) reduction with 12d Synergy •  Additional custom reporting (ovalisation, drainage & pits, niches) •  The Macro ‘Kronos Live’ •  Auto Plotting (PDF plots from survey data) •  12d Synergy customisation