A major milestone has been reached on the West Gate Tunnel project, with tunnel boring now complete on the two twin tunnels that will create a much-needed alternative to the congested West Gate Bridge.
View the latest trenchless technology tenders
Trenchless Australasia has teamed up with Australian Tenders to bring readers the latest trenchless tenders.
The future of HDD: Daunting, thrilling, and important
Rodney O’Meley, CEO and owner of Maxibor Australia – one of the country’s leading horizontal directional drilling (HDD) design and delivery companies – speaks to Trenchless Australasia to provide insight into the challenges and future direction of HDD in the Australian infrastructure sector.
Sewer outfall project tackled by veteran tunnelling team
Adept Civil and Pezzimenti Trenchless have teamed up to successfully deliver the Everley Estate Sunbury sewer outfall project in Victoria.
CDE and Enviropacific reducing industrial waste
Operating around the clock to reduce waste-to-landfill volumes across Australia, SOLVE, Enviropacific’s state-of-the-art soil and waste processing facility in Altona, is the setting for an innovative approach to industrial waste management.
Ballarat boring for lake light project
Tunnel boring around Lake Wendouree in February will allow for the installation of electrical conduits in Ballarat, Victoria.
Sydney Water takes on more tech
Sydney Water is undertaking the first sewer monitoring internet of things (IoT) deployment of its scale in Australia.
MidCoast commences annual sewer search
Annual sewer investigations are kicking off in New South Wales with the MidCoast Council commencing its CCTV inspection program.
DJ MacCormick Contractors completes seven drives on Iron Bridge Project
DJ MacCormick Contractors has completed the twin crossings of Humes 1000 mm reinforced concrete jacking pipe in Port Hedland, Western Australia.
Rob Carr takes delivery of new microtunnelling machines
Rob Carr has received its latest microtunnelling machine and is wasting no time in putting it to work.
Port Kembla Pipeline finished first HDD drive
The project team on the Port Kembla Pipeline in New South Wales has finished pulling back the project’s first horizontal directional drilling (HDD) drive.
New Rangedale depot opens in Epping
Rangedale has opened a depot in Epping, allowing the supplier to keep up with increased demand from clients in Melbourne’s north east.
Watercare tunnelling underway for 2023
Watercare tunnelling projects are already well underway for 2023 in Auckland, with progress being made in Warkworth, and the Central Interceptor project.
Michels’s commitment to safety spans the globe
Safety is critical to the success of an energy construction project. More importantly, it is the basis of a strong energy construction company.
Vacuum excavator becomes tool of choice in council fleets
Vacuum excavators are the often unsung hero of the trenchless technology world, quickly and effectively moving soil when needed so that horizontal directional drilling can take place.
kwik-ZIP’s HDX-90 supports trenchless water main installation
kwik-ZIP’s centraliser and spacer systems are solving production casing centralisation challenges throughout the pipeline industry, in Australia and overseas.
Ballarat sewer build uses microtunneling
Central Highlands Water’s Ballarat Sewer Build will commence stage 2 of its duplication in 2023 with microtunnelling beneath Humffray Street South.
Watercare: Auckland wastewater pipes get 50 more years
Some of Auckland’s ageing wastewater pipes are getting a new lease on life thanks to trenchless technology being used to reline the pipes.
Rob Carr wins CCF WA award
Rob Carr’s Gnangara Branch Sewer Section 2 project has received a Contractors Federation (CCF) WA award.
Watercare proactively tackles massive pipe renewal program
Auckland’s water and wastewater company, Watercare, has turned to trenchless technologies to overcome many of the challenges of its pipe renewal programs.
HDD protecting native wildlife in Gippsland
Utilities company Gippsland Water is securing the water and wastewater future for the towns of Warragul and Drouin as part of the western ring main project.
Ever forward with Watercare’s $300m investment program
Watercare’s proactive upgrades program is full steam ahead as final preparations are made to commence work on the new Warkworth-Snells wastewater pipe north of Auckland. Read more
Central Interceptor project extended
An extra 1.5 km has been added to the Central Interceptor project as Watercare’s massive tunnel boring machine reaches Manukau Harbour. Read more
Yarra Valley Water opens tender for HDD advisory
Yarra Valley Water is searching for an expert in trenchless construction to consult on the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) activities included in its Community Sewerage Program.
Investing in learning opportunities to give customers tools to nurture skills: Michels
When horizontal directional drilling (HDD) emerged in the mid-1960s as a new way to install utility lines under immovable or unavoidable obstacles without significant surface disruptions, crossings spanned up to a few hundred feet guided by frequent potholing. That changed in 1971 when a 4-inch gas line was placed under a river in Watsonville, CA, USA, a location where potholing would not be possible.
At about that same time, Michels was growing its utility line construction business in the Midwestern United States. Driven to meet customer needs and offer specialised services, the company expanded its geographic footprint and markets served.
Today, Michels is an international, diversified energy and infrastructure contractor and leading provider of construction services to the energy, transportation, communications, power and utility industries.
In 2021, Michels added Michels Asia Pacific, a permanent trenchless operation in Wangaratta, Victoria, to the Michels Family of companies. Michels Asia Pacific selectively specialises in technically challenging trenchless installations in Australia to allow customers to provide reliable, unobtrusive service in metropolitan and remote areas.
The team consists of Wangaratta-based project management and field staff supported from industry experts at Michels’ headquarters in Brownsville, WI, USA.
Flash back nearly 35 years to 1988 when Michels was one of the first contractors to recognize the potential of the new technology of HDD, a safe, environmentally sound way to install utility lines where traditional open-trench construction would not be practical or feasible.
Intrigued by HDD’s prospect of allowing energy and infrastructure construction in previously unsuitable areas and soil conditions, Michels dedicated personnel and resources to learning about the technique and introducing it to customers.
In keeping with Michels’ spirit of innovation and determination to provide customers with the best solutions, Michels set out to master the art and science of HDD. As the operations team completed HDD projects for energy customers, Michels in-house design and fabrication team got to work developing its own equipment to provide more opportunities than commercially available products at the time.
In 1996, Michels designed and built what was then the largest machine of its kind: the Hercules 1200, a HDD rig with 1.2 million pounds of thrust/pulling power. Not content to stop with one success, Michels continued to improve and expand its HDD equipment, eventually owning the world’s largest fleet of high-capacity HDD rigs with more than 1.2 million pounds of thrust/pulling power.
At the same time, the Michels team developed best practices for mitigating the risk of inadvertent fluid returns, managing bentonite and drilling fluid pressures for proper hole conditions, lubrication and cutting removal.
Michels also developed proprietary cutting tools and casing systems to maximize the potential for successful crossings and established processes for land-to-land, water-to-water, land-to-water projects.
As HDD’s reputation as a safe, accurate option for trenchless crossings grew, so did requests for longer and larger diameter crossings under transportation corridors, waterways, wetlands and other environmentally sensitive or challenging areas.
As lengths extended into the thousands of feet, Michels Trenchless team pioneered the pilot hole intersect method in a 2003 crossing in Boston. A powerful drill rig set out from each side of the alignment with a mission to follow an engineered path and meet at a predetermined spot, essentially doubling an HDD’s potential based solely on the drill rig’s push/pull capacity.
The Georges Island HDD crossing was a 1577 m hard-rock, water-to-water crossing to install 30-inch diameter pipe.
That technique was a watershed moment in the HDD industry. In passing years, demands for increasingly longer crossings with more complex alignments surfaced around the world from diverse industries, including energy, electrical transmission, water and wastewater and renewables.
In 2021, Michels completed a 4702 m installation of an NPS-24 steel utility line, the likes of which had not previously been attempted at the 24-inch diameter in the world.
Looking to the future, Michels is committed to building infrastructure to support projects in traditional and emerging industries and to continue providing safe, proven and innovative solutions to customers in Australia and wherever needed.
“In Australia, North America and throughout the world, there is an ever-increasing need for obstacles to be trenchlessly crossed, particularly in a time when there is a very real need for expanded infrastructure for traditional and transitioning markets,” said Matt Smith, President, Michels Trenchless, Inc. “We are honoured to have the skills, expertise, equipment and opportunity to deliver solutions that will build the future.”
For more information visit Michels’ website.
This article appeared in the August edition of Trenchless Australasia
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McRoberts restores PST channels at Woodman Point
The Woodman Point Waste Water Treatment Plant in Munster, Perth, has experienced deterioration of the concrete structure around its channels due to gas attack.