Extreme accuracy in changing ground conditions

Major contractor John Holland has been undertaking various civil works as part of the project, and when extreme accuracy was called for the jacking pipe installation, they were able to rely on
Edge Underground.

Woolloongabba, home to the famous “÷Gabba’ cricket ground, is an inner suburb to the south east of the Brisbane CBD. Changing demographics mean the population is expected to increase by 80,000 in the next few years as high-density apartment living becomes increasingly popular. To ensure infrastructure in the area keeps pace with the population, Queensland Urban Utilities has undertaken a two-phase program, with the first phase being completed in 2011, and the second underway from July 2012 to June 2014.

The program includes the addition of three trunk sewer mains, constructed by a small diameter tunnel boring machine, as well as various branch lines. The mains each have a diameter of 1.4 m and will have a capacity of 5,000 litres per second, with an average of 1,000 litres per second anticipated. The pipes are built on a gradual decline, dropping 1 m for every 800 m of pipeline.

The project required installation in some particularly tight spots, including installing HOBAS 525 mm jacking pipe under a major roadway and in high density housing. Extreme accuracy was called for, so John Holland called in Edge Underground.

Edge Underground specialises in “÷keyhole’ pipeline installation, using highly developed technology to precisely install a pipeline in tight conditions and avoiding the trauma of open-cut installation. Edge uses the Vermeer AXIS laser guided boring system, a technology actually developed by Edge Underground founder Stuart Harrison.

The team set up on-site in July 2013 and were faced with a very tight working site, requiring them to keep their footprint to an absolute minimum. John Holland diverted the live sewer pipes during the procedure, increasing the need for a fast and accurate performance.

The challenge of maintaining accuracy was magnified by the changing ground conditions, which shifted from wet mud to high plasticity clay. This required Edge Underground to use a closed-faced cutter to manage the softer unsupporting ground, which then made for slow progress through the clay.

But the end result showed that the judgement was right. Edge Underground’s wide experience on similar projects in a large variety of ground conditions has well prepared them to understand the technology and approach required in
any situation.

In all, Edge Underground completed three bores, of 70 m, 103 m and 97 m. Detailed tests, including as-built survey, vacuum and infiltration tests and CCTV inspection, were all carried out and all passed showing accuracy of +/- 10 mm for each drive, allowing John Holland to have this component signed off by their client shortly after construction was completed.

With these drives completed to everyone’s satisfaction, the final completion of the sewer upgrade is
well on track.

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Marine TBM breaks through on schedule

Ten months of tunnelling for the Santos Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas (GLNG) Narrows Crossing project recently came to an end, with the tunnel boring machine (TBM) breaking through to the reception shaft on Curtis Island.

The 4.3 km, 3.4 m diameter segmentally lined Narrows Crossing tunnel will house a portion of the 420 km pipeline that will deliver natural gas from the Surat and Bowen basins to the gas liquefaction processing facility on Curtis Island.

GHD is acting as the owner’s engineer and providing resident engineering services to Santos GLNG for the Narrows Crossing Project in Gladstone.

GHD Project Director Brendan Henry said “This is a huge milestone for Santos GLNG. The team successfully negotiated challenging tunnelling conditions to bring the tunnel in on schedule. The TBM is now being disassembled, and the tunnel cleaned, flooded and prepared for pushing through the gas pipeline.

“The project is located within a marine environment, and a key challenge was the mixed ground conditions at the tunnelling face. The ground conditions were mainly clay and soft alluvium, and when the tunnel approached Curtis Island, it changed to a formation of hard clay and rock with some gravel at the interface.”

Launching gantry assists with Waterview tunnel project

Dennis, a yellow launching gantry, is being used to construct the massive interchange to join the Northwestern and Southwestern motorways at the northern end of the project.

Dennis – 98 m long and weighing about 140 tonnes – will be the most publicly visible feature of the Waterview Connection project over the next three years.

The gantry was designed and built in Italy specifically for the Waterview project. It was chosen over conventional bridge construction methods to minimise impacts on adjacent archaeological areas and traffic flows.

Meanwhile, drilling at the Waterview Connection project is stopping for three weeks while workers get ready for the next stage of the massive motorway project.

During the break, a giant white gantry will be pushed into the tunnel behind Alice. This gantry will be used to lift into place large concrete culverts, each about 2 m tall and weighing 5 tonnes, that will create a passageway on the tunnel floor to carry services like water, electricity and telecommunications links below the new motorway.

The gantry is the first of its kind in the world and was designed by Herrenknecht, the German company that constructed Alice.

It arrived in New Zealand in parts and was re-assembled outside the entrance to the southern portal. The 95 m, 400 tonne gantry will be moved into the tunnel in the next few days.

“Waterview is the country’s largest roading project, and the gantry is another example of the size and complexity of the work that’s underway there,” said NZ Transport Agency Regional Highway Manager Tommy Parker.

Twin 2.4 km-long tunnels, both 13.1 m in diameter, are being constructed to connect Auckland’s Southwestern and Northwestern motorways as part of the city’s Western Ring Route, one of the Government’s flagship Roads of National Significance. Each tunnel will carry three lanes of motorway traffic.

Alice has now reached the 500 m mark on her journey north to construct the first of the two tunnels. She is 30 m below ground, and will eventually reach a depth of 45 m.

Mr Parker says the lifting gantry has been designed so that Alice can continue her work uninterrupted when tunnelling resumes. Supplies, like the concrete segments of tunnel linings that Alice installs, will be transported along a special tunnel trail running over the new culvert and the gantry, down a ramp to the tunnel floor and then on to the tunnel boring machine.

The Waterview project is being delivered by the Well-Connected Alliance, which includes the Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin & Taylor and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation. Sub-alliance partners are Auckland-based Wilson Tunnelling and Spanish tunnel controls specialists SICE.

Construction company to acquire utilities specialist

The acquisition will create significant growth opportunities for the combined business through mutually beneficial platforms into new regions, new sectors, expanded product offerings and bigger projects.

Formed in 1989, Rob Carr’s annual turnover exceeds $A50 million. The company specialises in trenchless and conventional pipeline construction, microtunnelling, deep shaft and service installations. These complementary civil construction capabilities in the water and power industries create an opportunity to offer an expanded project portfolio to the combined business.

Rob Carr currently operates in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. The company has operated in Western Australia since 1996 and will increase Seymour Whyte’s exposure to this important growth market.

Seymour Whyte Managing Director David McAdam said the acquisition aligns with Seymour Whyte’s strategic vision to expand geographic footprint, diversify into the utilities sector and enhance technical capability.

“Seymour Whyte reviewed more than 50 potential acquisition targets before proceeding with Rob Carr. This is an exciting business that provides a range of new growth opportunities and offers a strong alignment of operating cultures and professional competencies,” he said.

“Seymour Whyte’s first acquisition will take us to where we want to be in the water and power utilities market. It will increase quality of earnings, and increase technical expertise in the growing microtunnelling market.

The Rob Carr brand will maintain its own corporate identity and operate as a subsidiary of Seymour Whyte Limited.

Completion of the acquisition is anticipated to occur before mid-March 2014 as the parties work toward agreeing and signing definitive legal documentation.

Work starts on $A3 million Queensland sewer project

A new 4.8 km sewer pipe is being installed to ensure the sewerage network has the capacity to cater for future development in the area.

“The 250 mm diameter pipes will be installed using a combination of open trenching and microtunnelling technology,” said Queensland Urban Utilities (QUU) Major Projects and Commercial Services General Manager Mike Griffiths.

Mr Griffiths said QUU was committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability and efficiency of the region’s sewerage infrastructure.

“It’s important we extend the sewerage system’s operational life and improve the reliability of the local network,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of July 2014, weather permitting.

The first stage of construction is underway in Treatment Plant Road, Gatton. Work will then continue in stages to minimise the impact to the local community.

The investment is part of QUU’s $A3.2 billion 10-year capital works investment in south east Queensland.

Hybrid TBM takes on Australian Decline Tunnel

An 8 m diameter Robbins Hybrid Single Shield/EPB tunnel boring machine (TBM) was launched to bore the tunnel in December 2013. The machine was built using Onsite First Time Assembly in order to fit within a tight project schedule. Assembly at the remote jobsite near Moranbah, Australia took about four-and-a-half months, and the machine was then walked down into a launch tunnel.

Two decline tunnels, at grades of 1:6 and 1:8, will be used for mine access to new coal seams. The hybrid machine is tackling mixed ground conditions ranging from sand and clay to varying types of sedimentary hard rock up to 120 MPa UCS, as well as coal seams.

Methane gas is expected to be present throughout the tunnel, so the machine has been designed as Explosion Proof Compliant to ERZ-1.

“Grosvenor is the first underground coal mine in Queensland to use a TBM for drift construction. We are proud to be pioneering this technology,” said Grosvenor Project Director Glenn Tonkin.

“We commenced tunnelling last month and the machine has advanced more than 100 m so far. We are on track to reach pit bottom in the next couple of months. The first few weeks were largely spent commissioning the machine in compliance with the mine standards. We expect the machine will perform well and we will achieve the planned cutting rates,” said Mr Tonkin.

The machine is expected to complete the first decline tunnel in April 2014.

Alice completes her first 250 m at Waterview

NZ Transport Agency Auckland Highways Manager Tommy Parker said that after a cautious start last year, Alice has just passed the 250 m mark on her south-north journey from Owairaka to Waterview. She has 2,150 m to go to complete her first run.

On the single best day of tunnelling to date, Alice excavated 22 m of tunnel and installed the giant concrete rings that form the tunnel’s wall.

“Alice went through a careful probation period while the team operating her familiarised itself with the systems and processes involved in a complex project of this size,” said Mr Parker.

The tunnel boring machine (TBM) will build twin 2.4 km-long tunnels, both 13.1 m in diameter, over the next two years to connect Auckland’s Southwestern and Northwestern motorways as part of the city’s Western Ring Route, one of the Government’s flagship Roads Of National Significance. Each tunnel will carry three lanes of motorway traffic.

The TBM is due to complete construction at the end of 2015 and the tunnels open to traffic in early 2017.

The Waterview Connection project is New Zealand’s biggest-ever road project. It will deliver a 5 km, six-lane motorway connection, half of which will be underground. As well as completing the Western Ring Route, the Waterview Connection will provide a direct motorway link between the CBD and Auckland International Airport.

The project is being delivered by the Well-Connected Alliance which includes the Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin & Taylor and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation. Sub-alliance partners are Auckland-based Wilson Tunnelling and Spanish tunnel controls specialists SICE.

HDD works ahead in Queensland

The $A5.1 million Church Road SPS108 rising main augmentation, to be undertaken by Logan Water Alliance, will involve construction of approximately 2 km of 500 mm diameter wastewater pipelines between Bethania and Tanah Merah.

The pipelines will be installed using a combination of open trench, tunnel boring and horizontal directional drill construction methods.

A Logan Water Alliance spokesperson told Trenchless Australasia that works will be tendered in the coming months.

Keep an eye on Trenchless Australasia‘s e-newsletters for tender details.

An Australian trenchless first

The project also encompassed the first use of gyroscopic steering tools on hard rock crossings involving horizontal directional drill intersects, as well as the deepest recorded high density polyethylene marine crossings installed at depths of over 75 m.

This is just one of the stories that made headlines in Trenchless Australasia in 2013 and proved to be popular among our readers.

Click here to read the full story of this groundbreaking trenchless project.

A selection of some Trenchless Australasia‘s other most popular articles for 2013 is available below.

Relive the top trenchless news of 2013

Throughout 2013, Trenchless Australasia reported on innovative trenchless projects, new appointments and contracts awarded across Australia and New Zealand.

Popular articles covered the renewal of Christchurch’s drainage systems, hight-tech water imaging undertaken in Perth pipelines, horizontal directional drilling activities in Queensland, and trenchless companies leading the way with their use of social media.

Click on the links below to revisit some of our most popular content for 2013:

Underground rail project planned for QLD

Premier Campbell Newman recently announced the Underground Bus and Train project, a 5.4 km tunnel for Brisbane with two train lines in the lower section and two busway lanes in the upper section.

This project will double the number of trains across the Merivale Bridge, take up to 200 buses off CBD streets in the morning peak and reduce 100 buses per morning peak hour on the Captain Cook Bridge.

“We’ve taken two of Brisbane’s major congestion challenges – the Merivale train bridge and the Cultural Centre bus precinct – and come up with an affordable and elegant solution.

“The project we are announcing delivers the public transport services needed for the next 50 years.

“A single 15-metre-wide tunnel will be built, requiring the largest borer ever used in Australia – almost two metres wider than the Clem7 and Airport Link tunnels.”

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the tunnel would go underground at Dutton Park in the south to Victoria Park in the north, via new stations at Woolloongabba, George St and Roma St.

“This will be a major economic boost, creating hundreds of jobs and new pathways for business to grow and develop in Brisbane,” Mr Nicholls said.

The project will now pass to the Coordinator-General to assess the environmental impacts. Resumptions will include Dutton Park train station, however only minor impacts on other properties are expected.

Early works are expected to start in 2015 and be completed by 2021. Further information will be available at the Department of Transport and Main Roads website.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson said a number of procurement opportunities were already on the Queensland Government’s e-tender site, with more coming in the next few months.

Melbourne gets trenchless watermain renewals

The project involves renewing water supply mains on both sides of Brunswick Street between Alexandra Parade and Johnston Street.

The works will include a trenchless installation running under Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

The watermains are well over 100 years old and must be renewed to ensure continued water supply and quality of service in the area.

The project is estimated to take four to five months to complete.

A smaller watermain renewal will also be undertaken in the footpath along the westbound side of Alexandra Parade from Brunswick to Nicholson Streets during the day in January.

Alice builds first permanent rings

The tunnel boring machine (TBM), dubbed “÷Alice’, is the largest TBM ever to be utilised in the Southern Hemisphere and will help build New Zealand’s Waterview Connection, part of the Auckland motorway Western link.

With a length of 87 m and a cutting diameter of 14.46 m, the Herrenknecht EPB TBM No. S-764 is the tenth largest diameter TBM ever produced worldwide and weighs in at 3,102 tonnes.

Following efforts by the Well Connected Alliance (WCA) Tunnel Team, the TBM was built and sufficiently commissioned to meet the ready to bore milestone date of 31 October 2013, a date set two years earlier. This milestone was met by the WCA team through a spirit of collaboration between the civil works team, the site tunnelling plant team, and the major plant suppliers Herrenknencht, H+E and Grayson.

The Waterview team chose to implement an innovative method for the start-up of the TBM. Rather than using ten conventional reinforced concrete (RC) segments to make up a temporary ring, the team chose a combination of RC and steel segments to make up the temporary rings. This system greatly reduced the overall weight of the combined ring and removed any necessity for additional temporary support measures for the upper two-thirds of the temporary rings, thereby eliminating the need for the usual large A-frame steel support structures, steel wire rope cables, internal and/or external arch systems.

The team plans on bringing Alice up to speed over the coming weeks as they approach the location of the first Cross Passage (XP), where another special combination of RC segments and steel segments will be used to create the frame, through which the XP will later be opened.

Tunnelling under trams

This project was completed as a joint venture between the two distinct Pezzimenti companies – Pezzimenti Trenchless and Pezzimenti Tunnelbore.

The microtunnelling bore was undertaken as part of the Jasmine Street and Hawthorn Road Drainage Upgrade project, in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield South.

In February 2013, Pezzimenti Trenchless arrived on-site to complete a 160 m, 1,850 mm diameter bore. Pezzimenti Tunnelbore supplied all of the necessary equipment for the project. For this project, this consisted of an 1,850 mm diameter microtunnelling head, an 800 tonne jacking frame and a bucket elevator extraction system.

Trenchless Technology was required for this section of the Jasmine Street and Hawthorn Road Drainage Upgrade project due to the pipeline running parallel and then underneath tram lines. The route also ran underneath low overhead powerlines. Additionally, Hawthorn Road is a major thoroughfare that required traffic to be flowing at all times.

The bores were to be undertaken at a depth of 4 m underground in ground conditions of clayey sand and silty sands.

All of the equipment employed for the project was designed and manufactured by Pezzimenti Tunnelbore at the company’s premises in Ringwood.

When completing the bores, the team from Pezzimenti Trenchless opted to use 1,500 mm diameter Humes “÷J’ Series pipe.

Environmental and social benefits

By completing these works with microtunnelling technology, a number of environmental and social benefits were realised.

The reduced site footprint resulted in minimal disruption to traffic flows and local residents. By utilising Trenchless Technology, just one lane of traffic was closed to undertake the works.

Importantly, trams were also able to operate as normal, meaning there were no disruptions to public transport.

The technology used by the joint venture also meant that excavated spoil was able to be removed dry, making for a clean and efficient process.

Future outlook

The microtunnelling project was successfully completed in March 2013, on time and on budget.

The Pezzimenti Trenchless and Pezzimenti Tunnelbore joint venture was a success and the two companies will continue to tackle similar projects together in the future. 1009181.png

Leaders gather for industry Think Tank

The 2013 discussion, titled the Think Tank panel, featured Trevor Gosatti representing Australasia, Samuel Ariaratnam representing North America, Declan Downey representing the UK, Derek Choi representing China, Joop van Wamelen representing South Africa, Juan Guiterrez representing Colombia, and Wim Elzink representing the Netherlands.

To shape the session, the panellists met prior to the event and discussed what they believed to be key issues for their region. The issues were then framed into questions, and all No-Dig Down Under delegates were emailed a survey asking their opinions and input on the selected topics. Their responses were used as the basis of the talk, with audience members encouraged to ask questions and shape the discussion as it progressed.

ISTT involvement in ISO standards

Delegates responding to the survey were overwhelmingly in favour of this idea, with 89.4 per cent of respondents saying that the ISTT should be involved. Mr Choi said the one of the most frequent questions he is asked is where to get access to standards – particularly for installation projects, saying it is particularly hard for project planners and contractors to get budget approval if they can’t cite standards.

Mr Ariaratnam echoed this sentiment for the North American market, saying there was a lot of “cutting and pasting” of specifications in project planning. Currently in North America, project specifications depend on which municipality they are happening in so there is no uniform use of specifications across the US.

In South Africa, Mr van Wamelen said the South Africa Society for Trenchless Technology has been in favour of standardisation since its inception. He says standardisation is particularly important in developing countries where site operators may have poor technical skills. Holding the works to a certain standard ensures projects are held to the same quality level and outcome.

Which disciplines should ISO standards be developed for?

The most popular technique respondents were in favour of developing standards for was horizontal directional drilling (HDD). However, Mr Ariaratnam questioned how easy it would be to establish standards to this technique. While standards have been set up for rehabilitation technique families, the standard holds the refurbished pipe to certain structural and longevity standards. Holding a technique rather than a finished material to standards would be a complicated procedure.

Developing a cost model for trenchless

Several panellists noted they receive enquiries on how to cost for projects, and what fair rates are. The availability of approximation of costs for techniques is widely requested, however, there are many factors that feed into the availability of developing a base rate of cost, including union fees and other regulations. Additionally, trying to place a cost on simply the materials and installation/rehabilitation work detracts from the many cost-savings benefits Trenchless Technology offers –
such as reduced reinstatement costs, environmental protection and reduced costs to businesses.

Responses from delegates on developing a cost model included:

  • Consult with municipal utilities to commission studies alongside appropriate consultants
  • Bidding databases
  • Creating a protocol for assessing social/environmental (indirect) costs, which would vary by country
  • Involve specialist contractors who price jobs on a regular basis.

Accredited training courses

The issue of training was raised several times during the Think Tank panel. The main issue regarding lack of training was improper implementation of techniques, which results in poor perception from potential clients and the public on the effectiveness of that technique.

Accredited training would set a standard and ensure key competencies have been learned before various techniques are implemented.

Of the respondents, 77.3 per cent were in favour of accredited training being delivered by the ISTT in their country.

Session conclusion

The session brought to light many issues those in the trenchless industry currently face and gave Society Chairmen and Councillors an indication as to where work needs to be done in their country. If you feel passionately about any of the topics covered in the Think Tank panel, be sure to contact your local Councillor to voice your opinion. Visit astt.com.au for contact details.

NZ TBM ready for tunnelling

The tunnel boring machine’s (TBM) huge cutter was recently officially switched on by the Minister of Transport, Hon. Gerry Brownlee.

After two ceremonial rotations of the cutter head, the machine was shut down for final preparations.

The TBM, dubbed “÷Alice’, will excavate the twin motorway tunnels for the $A1.4 billion project.

The TBM has an outside diameter of 14.46 m, which makes it the 10th largest tunnel boring machine in the world.

The machine will bore two tunnels, 2.4 km long and both wide enough for three lanes of traffic. The tunnels will connect the Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways (State Highways 16 and 20) and complete the Western Ring Route, a motorway alternative to State Highway 1 through central Auckland.

“It’s an exciting and huge milestone for New Zealand’s largest ever roading project,” said Transport Agency Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland Tommy Parker.

“It’s taken 18 months and 2.5 million challenging work hours in some very demanding conditions to get everything ready, and when we’ve completed our final run-through, Alice will have her first encounter with real dirt next week.”

Mr Parker congratulated the Well-Connected Alliance – which is constructing the Waterview tunnels – for completing the project’s most significant milestone “bang on target.”

The Alliance is made up of New Zealand Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, McConnell Dowell Constructors, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin and Taylor, and Japanese construction company Obayashi Corporation.

“The innovation and practise already in use on the construction site is attracting a lot of international attention – this is a New Zealand project on a world scale. Overseas interest in our project is reflected by our guests here today, which include senior executives from leading infrastructure companies in Germany, Japan and China,” said Mr Parker.

The TBM has to first push herself through a circle of soft concrete covering the tunnel portal before it starts excavating dirt. It will excavate down to a depth of 45 m, travelling at a top speed of 8 cm a minute. It will take a year to travel north from Owairaka to Waterview, where the machine will be dismantled, turned around, and re-assembled to excavate the second tunnel.

It will take two years to excavate both tunnels. By the time the TBM finishes its journey, it will remove more than 800,000 cubic metres of dirt – enough to fill 320 Olympic-size swimming pools. The soil will be trucked to a disused quarry at Wiri in south Auckland.

After excavation, the twin tunnels will be fitted out with lighting, ventilation and safety equipment before being opened to traffic in early 2017.

The Western Ring Route – a 47 km-long motorway between Albany and Manukau – is one of the Government’s seven roads of national significance, and Mr Parker says the Waterview Connection is the “last piece in the ring route puzzle” that when completed will help develop economic growth for Auckland and New Zealand.

WA microtunnelling and HDD works awarded

Civil construction and tunnelling company Rob Carr was awarded the infill sewerage project works in Dawesville reticulation areas 1B, 4A, 5A south of Mandurah, Western Australia.

Works will involve construction of gravity sewers, pumping stations and pressure mains for Reticulation Areas Dawesville 1B, 4A and 5A.

The project will consist of a combination of tunnelling and open trenching works, including pilot soil displacement, slurry microtunnelling and directional drilling, along roads, verges and private properties.

The work involves the construction of approximately 12,950 m of 150, 255 and 300 mm gravity mains, 1,560 m of 100 and 150 mm sewer pressure mains and providing service connections to 416 lots. Other works also include the construction of 62 manholes, 131 maintenance shafts as well as the construction of two new wastewater pump stations, with an access road and additional infrastructure.

Trenchless award winners announced

Winners were recognised at the Gala Dinner and Awards Evening held on Tuesday 3 September.

Winners of the ASTT Awards are:

Project of the Year – New Installation: The Gladstone Harbour Crossing project, COE Drilling

In Mid 2011, COE Drilling was awarded the Gladstone Harbour HDD Crossing contract on the Curtis Island Water and Trade Waste Infrastructure project.

The project involved construction of portable water pipelines and sewer pressure main between the Gladstone mainland and Curtis Island to facilitate the provision of utility services to meet demand growth associated with LNG facilities in the area.

Project of the Year – Rehabilitation: The Sydney CBD – Bennelong Stormwater Chanel Rehabilitation, Kembla Watertech

In June 2012, Kembla Watertech successfully rehabilitated an important section of Australia’s historical drainage system in inner city Sydney – the Bennelong stormwater channel – which was the first oviform combined sewer/stormwater system constructed in Sydney in 1857.

Around 154 m of a massive 1,830 mm diameter x 1,220 mm diameter heritage listed oviform stormwater channel was rehabilitated for Sydney Water.

New Technology: Intersect Technology and Gyroscopic Steering, COE Drilling

The Curtis Island Water and Sewerage Project heralds a number of innovative technical milestones for Trenchless Technology in Australia, with COE Drilling delivering the first use of HDD Intersect Technology in Australia on all three Harbour crossings. It also encompassed the first use of Gyroscopic Steering Tools on hard rock crossings involving HDD Intersects and also the deepest recorded HDPE marine crossing installed at depth over 75 m.

Person of the Year: Aurelio Pezzimenti, Pezzimenti Tunnelbore

Aurelio Pezzimenti is currently the director of Pezzimenti Laserbore, a microtunnelling design and fabrication company as well as Pezzimenti Tunnelbore, a microtunnelling contractor operating in New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Aurelio is the inventor of the world’s first microtunnelling system using vacuum power as the means to transport the spoil from the cutting chamber to the surface.

With Aurelio’s invention, the Trenchless Technology technique microtunnelling was introduced into Australia in the late 1980s.

Designed and fabricated in Ringwood, Melbourne and operating throughout Australia, Aurelio Pezzimenti invented and built a truly remarkable microtunnelling system – in Australia for Australian conditions.

Born in Italy, raised in Australia, and gifted with a creative and rapid mind, a sense of self-belief and the courage to pursue his vision, Aurelio Pezzimenti is a true pioneer of Trenchless Technology in Australia. His contribution has been foundational, and enduring.

Young Person of the Year: Joe Alphonse, Kembla Watertech

Joe Alphonse has worked in the Trenchless Technology industry for 13 years, and has helped develop Kembla Watertech and Sydney Water’s bulk sewer lining contracts to the high standard they are operating at today.

Over Joe’s career, he has overseen over 800 km of pipeline rehabilitation and project managed rehabilitation contracts worth a total of $A300 million.

Joe has been instrumental in the development of the bulk lining contracts for Sydney Water, starting off with the first Sewer Rehabilitation Program in 2000. Since then, Joe has been the key Kembla Watertech Project Manager for every Sydney Water bulk lining contract.

Congratulations to all award winners. To read more about the winning projects, people and technologies, make sure you’re subscribed to Trenchless Australasia.

Under-river drilling secures water supply for Bairnsdale

The work is the latest stage in a major engineering project that involves replacing an ageing stretch of steel main totalling 360 m in length, running close to the Lind Bridge at Wy Yung.

Bairnsdale-based BPR Trenching and Boring have undertaken the project on East Gippsland Water’s behalf, with the local office of AECOM employed as project manager.

East Gippsland Water Managing Director Bruce Hammond said “The present submerged section of main being targeted, which sits on the bed of the river, has suffered under the impact of major flood events. Its replacement will be more resilient, being located beneath the river bed itself and constructed from high-density polyethylene.”

Once the tunnelling is completed, the next stage will be to pull the replacement pipe through and into position, and connect it into the water supply system. For a brief period an alternative pipeline will be brought into operation to ensure an uninterrupted supply of water to Bairnsdale customers while the work is underway.

Calling all wastewater professionals

Barwon Water has released a tender for water and sewer main construction.

The utility seeks to appoint a Principal Contractor to complete the supply, installation and commissioning of approximately 420 m of watermain in Range Road, Bannockburn, Victoria, as part of the Bannockburn Railway Crossing watermain improvements. Works include 30 m of pipe jacking.

Submissions close 5 September 2013.

More information is available here.

City of Boroondara invites expressions of interest for inclusion on a panel of contractors to undertake structural stormwater drain relining works.

Submissions close 4 pm, 10 September 2013.

Interested parties can find more information here.

South East Water Corporation, Victoria, has released a tender for water and sewer main construction.

The utility is rolling out the Peninsula ECO Project, a three stage project that will deliver significant improvements to public health and the environment. The first stage of the project requires the construction of approximately 230 km of pressure sewer reticulation from Rye to Portsea.

South East Water is seeking to appoint two experienced contractors/proponents, who can demonstrate previous experience in construction of pressure sewer projects and can deliver on the key objectives of the Peninsula ECO Project – Reticulation.

Submissions close 26 September 2013.

For further information, click here.

Vacuum microtunnelling heads Down Under

The Australasian Society will welcome the International Society for Trenchless Technology to the Sydney Convention Centre for the Trenchless Technology event of the year.

Vermeer representative John Milligan will conduct a presentation titled “÷Timbertop Sewer Project: Installation of non-restrained GRP pipe using vacuum microtunnelling’ at 4 pm Monday, 2 September.

A range of Vermeer’s drills and equipment will be on display in the impressively-sized exhibition hall.

Boring to Curtis Island

The machine has covered more than 1.9 km and extracted more than 24,000 cubic metres of earth since it kicked off in April.

On Curtis Island, where the tunnel boring machine will end its journey, a reception shaft has been cleared and piling works are expected to commence during the next two weeks.

The Santos GLNG Project is a pioneering venture to convert coal seam natural gas to liquefied natural gas for export to global markets.

The project involves the development of gas fields in the Bowen and Surat Basins, the construction of a 420 km underground gas transmission pipeline from Roma to Gladstone, and a two-train LNG processing facility on Curtis Island, Gladstone.

The project is a joint venture between Santos and three of the world’s largest energy companies, PETRONAS, Total and KOGAS.

Slurry shield microtunnelling around Oz

The company undertakes tunnelling projects Australia-wide and has offices in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. D.J. Mac Cormick has a fleet of microtunnelling machines and systems for installing pipes from
150-3,000 mm diameter, using slurry shield microtunnelling methology and several types of slurry shield systems.

A brief history

Senior management and key personnel previously undertook major projects through Mary Donald Nominees as D.J. and M.B. Mac Cormick Civil Engineering, which was the first privately-owned company to introduce slurry shield microtunnelling to Western Australia back in 1995.

Company management and key tunnelling staff have skills and knowledge ranging from 15-25 years’ experience, and their expertise has been recognised through various project awards.

Awards won by the company include:

  • The International Trenchless No-Dig Award 2006 and the Victorian Case Earth Award of the same year for the Otway Gas Project, involving incline microtunnelling
  • Western Australia Case Earth Award 2005 for the Perth Main Sewer Stage 5 Replacement, involving installation of 1,500 mm sewer plastic-lined jacking pipes, launch, receival shafts and access chambers.

Key personnel have also had experience on international projects, undertaking microtunnelling in Kuwait from 2003-2006, with over 13,000 m installed at depths ranging from 6-20 m in high ground water table.

The fleet

The tunnelling systems are closed-face, earth pressure systems and tunnelling operations are undertaken at surface, with the tunnelling operator having both visual and radio communications with the pipe fitting crew in the launch shaft.

The tunnelling machine excavates material at the face of excavation and the jacking system is remotely controlled from the surface, with the tunnelling operator monitoring the excavation rate/cutting face pressure and jacking force.

Specialised jacking pipes with safe working loads that are flush-jointed to minimise friction on pipe in surrounding ground are installed behind the machine, one behind the other, until the machine reaches the receival shaft.

Launch and receival shafts are typically located at access chamber locations. Depending on the size of the machine utilised, drive lengths of 100-300 m can be undertaken. These are also dependent on the geotechnical conditions and the safe working load of the jacking pipes utilised.

The tunnelling systems are laser guided and steerable. Information is relayed back to the operation board and TV monitor at the surface, which ensures the machine has high accuracy and enables jacking forces to be monitored.

The company’s tunnelling machines are suitable for working in water-charged ground and a variety of ground conditions such as sand, clay, soft and hard rock. These machines are typically used for installing sewer or drainage pipe or installing casing/envelope pipe for pressure mains, water and gas.

QLD’s unseen scene

Tunnelcorp has just completed two 1,500 mm inside diameter microtunnels under two freeways in Brisbane for the Logan Water Alliance.

Each drive was 180 m in length through unfavourable high plasticity clays. Production rates varied between 6-17 m per day with slurry returns at a greater frequency than envisaged due to the ground conditions.

Tunnelcorp used its Herrenknecht AVN1500TB for the crossings in conjunction with its PSD recycling system. The recycling system was utilised to recycle and re-use the drilling fluids until the solid content dictated a change out of the storage and active tanks, often on a daily basis.

The finished bores were completed to a high degree of accuracy, with both bores exiting within 10 mm of designed line and grade. Tunnelcorp’s scope was to construct the launch and receival shafts, install a 1,200 mm MSCL pressure sewer main, hydrotest and backfill.

Box jacking in Gladstone

In Gladstone, Queensland, Tunnelcorp are well under way with a large box culvert jacking operation for the WICET coal conveyor system. The 1.5 m long jacked culverts each weigh 60 tonnes and each culvert is advanced using a new custom built 6,000 tonne jacking system. Roof and floor canopy support bores 1,144 m in length were installed to support the rail line above and provide a bond breaker system to ensure the material above is not disturbed.

The culverts pass only 4 m below the Main Northern Rail Line. This line carries up to $A20 million of coal per day. The client gave instructions “Please don’t damage the rail.”

The ground conditions were problematic with the top 3.5 m of material consisting of cobbles and boulders of Chert and Basalt in a clay matrix and the lower 1.2 m of solid rock requiring rock breakers.

Day and night operations were undertaken and production averaged 2-2.5 shifts per segment in difficult ground conditions. Accuracy was monitored with lasers and traditional survey equipment and the 32 tonne steel cutting had 80 tonnes of steering rams attached to provide all directional steering.

Tough tunnelling

The location of Officer, Victoria is renowned as being treacherous for boring contractors, with many complicated ventures undertaken over the past few years. The combination of ground conditions makes this area particularly difficult; for the most part the ground is a dense, compact clay formation that can be of high plasticity. However, as you go deeper the ground changes and becomes silty and sandy with some isolated rock outcrops. In addition to this, the water table is high.

Contractor Delplant knew this area well and to tackle the requirement for a 700 mm bore on flat grades at 8 m deep with plenty of water and sand, Operations Manager Pat Delaney wanted to be sure he had confidence in his microtunnelling contractor. To add to the complexity, there was also time pressure on the installation as the decision to bore was a late call and there would potentially be a loss of production for the Delplant crews.

Mr Delaney selected Edge Underground; he had worked with Edge Underground Managing Director Stuart Harrison on difficult projects in the past, and the Delaney and Harrison families have worked in this area since the 1960s.

“A traditional microtunnel would have been a two-week installation; with Edge we could continue works after the pilot line was across at grade – this would only take two days,” said Mr Delaney.

Edge utilised its state of the art Vermeer AXIS system, a vacuum extracted, laser guided, precision horizontal boring machine. The system pilots a 300 mm casing on line on-grade and then upsizes and jacks pipe on the backream.

“One of the real advantages of the system is the pilot shot gives you a perfect geotechnical sample of the ground before you are committed and you are jacking pipe, “ Mr Harrison said.

Traditional methods jack pipe from the outset, therefore any variations in ground conditions, if not allowed for, can cause deviation and/or termination of a microtunnel line. By doing a 300 mm pilot line, the ground conditions are verified and changes are made prior to jacking pipe. Another advantage of the pilot line is that line and grade can be validated
at this point and in so allow for the further production of the line with
every confidence.

On the Officer pilot shot the ground was predominately wet, silty clay, however throughout the middle 30 m the ground became sandy and at points was purely wet sand. Armed with this knowledge, Edge tailored its backreamer to better handle the potential for ground flow and maintain a positive face pressure throughout the 718 mm installation.

The job took five days in total.

“Microtunnelling is a tough industry, however with the right people, knowledge, equipment and pipe, you will achieve the result you are looking for,” said Mr Harrison.