Bridge foundations using wool bales

Bridge foundations using wool bales

Civilbuild’s largest bridge so far and one still under construction is over the Gwydir River near Inverell and it has certainly come with its own challenges.

The bridge is 150 metres long, 15 metres high and just like the bridge that was dismantled at Bulahdelah, the challenges lay under the water.

The solution required a lot of ingenuity from senior engineer Jarrod Buttsworth and one of the company’s most experienced foremen in Scott Armstrong. The problems lay with the jagged, two metre deep rock ravines where a pier foundation had to, somehow, be constructed. The accepted methods of building the foundations were never going to work.

Jarrod is a country boy raised on a farm, so he was working in familiar country. He bought 200 wool bale bags, filled them with sand, built two parallel dykes in the river, lined the dykes with plastic, filled between the dykes with clay and hey presto, a dry coffer dam in which to build the pier foundations.

Civilbuild’s pre-cast yard at Redhead is building Super T beams, each 37.5 metres long which will then transported to the site and lifted into place. Not only is the community there getting a new bridge but valuable employment opportunities for locals and the chance to learn new skills.

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