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Pezzimenti Trenchless: meeting all microtunnelling challenges

Pezzimenti Trenchless completes works on Highlander Stage 4 Branch.

Pezzimenti Trenchless is continuing to cement its legacy of expertise and excellence by completing works on the Highlander Branch Sewer project in Mickleham, Victoria. 

An industry pioneer since 1957, Pezzimenti Trenchless has completed Stage 4 works on behalf of Victorian hydraulic infrastructure company Califam Constructions, awarded by Yarra Valley Water and Spiire.

The scope of the Highlander Stage 4 project involved the microtunnelling of four sections of 25 m, 103 m, 90 m, and 103 m in length. Microtunnelling was the method of choice for the project due to the depth of the sewer line as it was a more economical, environmentally friendly, and safer method of completing the job.

Speaking to Trenchless Australasia, Director Joe Pezzimenti says that the pipe used for the contract was 272 mm and 376 mm OD Hobas GRP jacking pipe, installed at a depth of 12 m through basalt rock.

“Our systems ensure all types of pipes can be installed for fast and efficient installation,” he says. “This adaptability includes uPVC and poly pipes, as well as Hobas jacking pipes, Humes or Rocla concrete jacking pipe.”

“Each method uses a laser guided microtunnelling system, with vacuum extraction to remove spoil from the cutter face directly into a tank for dumping on, or off, site.”

On site, the ground conditions ranged between 120 MPa and 240 MPa. While the project was completed efficiently manner, Joe says the conditions proved to be a challenge and the project experienced a slower drilling rate as a result of the strength and penetration resistance.

“Progress ranged from 4 m per day up to 8 m per day, which is below average on this type of project,” he says. 

Pezzimenti Trenchless’ basalt capabilities span from 440 mm up to 1850 mm in diameter, with a fleet of trucks that includes six crane trucks and a crawler crane for tight access sites. 

Each crane truck can transport the drilling gear required for each project and provides the means for both lowering and lifting the gear in and out of the shaft.

“Due to the length and depth of the bores, the Pezzimenti Trenchless team on site had to rely on our latest technological vacuum trucks to ensure all spoil was extracted from the bore in efficient and safe manner,” says Joe.

The company’s specially designed and built vacuum trucks provide efficient and the quickest means of bringing the spoil up to the surface. Each of its seven vacuum trucks is capable of intaking spoils into the truck or distributing it into interceptor trucks to best suit the needs of the project.

The Pezzimenti Trenchless team ensured every stage of the project was executed diligently and efficiently, regardless of the complications that arose.

“The 12 m deep launch shaft on site was inundated twice with water due to the extreme weather events that the area experienced during the July and August 2022 period, but our team was more than capable of taking on the challenge,” says Joe.

“We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest quality equipment and setting the standard for the industry when it comes to quality, care, and development. The dedication our team shows when it comes to completing a project under any circumstance, both efficiently and safely, is why we’ve stood the test of time.”

Pezzimenti Trenchless is currently undertaking Stage 3 of the Branch Sewer consisting of 500 m of microtunnelling on behalf of MFJ Constructions and Yarra Valley Water,

For more information visit Pezzimenti Trenchless.

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This article appeared in the February edition of Trenchless Australasia. Access the digital copy of the magazine here.

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