From the magazine

Gabba awards keep rolling in

The Woolloongabba Trunk Sewer Upgrade was a two-part project undertaken as part of Queensland Urban Utilities’ 10-year capital works program.

With Part A completed in March 2011, the contract for Part B was awarded to John Holland in November 2012. The $A80 million project included the installation of 5.2 km of 1.4 m diameter HOBAS pipes to service the 50,000 homes in the Woolloongabba catchment.

John Holland’s innovative approach
Queensland Urban Utilities originally envisaged the project involving drives of 237 m. During the tendering process John Holland proposed increasing the drive length and reducing the number of maintenance holes, thereby benefitting functionality and simplifying ongoing maintenance of the sewer network.

This suggestion was taken up by the utility and upon completion of the project seven manholes had been removed from the initial design.

With fewer maintenance shafts the tunnel alignment had to be reconsidered; curved drives were incorporated into the design, which in-turn minimised negotiations with stakeholders and members of the community impacted by the work.

Project accolades

  • Queensland Urban Utilities makes BRW Top 10 Most Innovative Companies
  • ASTT Project of the Year: New Installation
  • International Project Manager of the Year, Steve Gibson (Awarded by the International Project Management Association).

Doing it for the kids
The Woolloongabba Sewer Upgrade is notable not only for its design achievements, but also for its engagement with the local community.

This included a unique initiative to involve local school children in designing and naming one of the project’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs).

Students from East Brisbane Primary School, one of two schools located close to project works, were invited to colour in a template of a “÷friendly’ TBM. The winning student had their entry realised by John Holland’s plant department, who then painted the template colours onto the real TBM.

The same student had the opportunity to work with their parents and Queensland Urban Utilities to come up with a name for the TBM, who was christened “÷Cora the tunnel borer’.

John Holland also expanded an area of previously unusable car park at the second school that was affected by the project works.

Project outcomes

  • 5.2 km – length of HOBAS pipe installed as new trunk sewer
  • $A80 million – value of Woolloongabba Sewer Upgrade
  • 100 – Number of personnel at height of project
  • 6 – Number of new sewer lines
  • 37 – Number of new access shafts
  • 80 – age in year of Woolloongabba sewer pipes
  • 1.4 m – diameter of largest pipes installed
  • 17 m – maximum depth of pipes installed
  • 100 – years of design life.
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