This project entailed the replacement of 10 collapsed timber or concrete culverts with precast concrete culverts. There was a limited closure period of just 48 hours in which the construction works had to be completed. These culverts were all single or dual cell culverts. The 10 construction sites were spread across locations between Emerald and Longreach in outback Central West Queensland. This Design & Construct contract was developed to ensure at least 100 years of design life.
VEC self-performed all the works, including the replacement of the rail and all associated works. All of the precast concrete was fabricated by HUMES in Rockhampton and transported to site. Having all the sections constructed off-site meant measurements needed to be highly accurate, as small errors would have a significant effect on the program. The number one driver for the client was to not disrupt the train traffic. Any potential delays would have been detrimental to the local outback communities, as they heavily rely on the railway to transport their livestock to destinations where they are sold.
With the wet season nearing quickly, the pressure was on the VEC crew to ensure all the construction works were completed on time. Some early seasonal flooding did occur throughout the construction, however this did not delay the works, nor did it have any negative impact on the VEC program. All of the culverts were replaced within the scheduled programed time-frames. Weather was a major challenge for the construction crew - from hail storms to extreme heat all day long. It was their careful time management that enabled them to complete the project on time and with zero incidents. The key to the safe delivery of this project was having a knowledgeable crew onsite who had vast experience with lifting the precast elements into place.