Cairns engineering awards

Far North Queensland Engineering Project of the Year

The Barron Gorge Road – Rockfall Protections project, a joint submission by Cairns Regional Council with PDR Engineers Pty Ltd has been awarded Far North Queensland Engineering Project of the Year at The Far North Queensland Engineering Awards, held on Saturday 2nd November 2013.

The Barron Gorge Road provides the only road access to the Baron Gorge Hydro-Power Station. The steep rocky slope on one side and the gorge on the other, means the area is vulnerable to rock slides with poor soil and rock stability leading to 15 – 20 rock fall incidents each year.

The Judging panel highlighted the challenges faced by PDR Engineers, who designed and engineered the $3million, 90m long wall.

‘This is a very difficult and constrained environment in which to work, and a novel and ingenious solution was required,’ stated the judges.

The wall has 28 precast concrete and steel vertical columns anchored to the rock face, with 81 smaller panels forming the roof.

The judges were impressed by the innovative design which allows for a straightforward maintenance solution in the event of damage from a rock fall, while not being visually obtrusive in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, where the road is located.

‘Should one element of the structure be damaged in a rock fall, then it can be replaced relatively quickly and easily. There are locked and gated fencing panels which allow the safe removal of trapped rocks. Rock anchors are used to stabilise the structure.’

‘The adopted solution very neatly solves the problem, and does not involve the complexity of building a visually obtrusive tunnel like structure to protect the road from the rocks, or a higher maintenance solution for stabilising the rock face.’

The quality of the project and the application of innovative engineering practices, led the judges to award thisproject the prestigious Far North Queensland Project of the Year.

This is an excellent example of a project where unique technical difficulties were overcome, and the project was completed as planned with the minimum of disruption possible. There are benefits to a wide spectrum of the community on a daily basis.

The submission itself was excellent, addressing in a systematic and thorough manner all the published criteria for the award of Project of the Year.’

Award winning engineers

The Barron Gorge Road – Rockfall Protection Structure project has been awarded Far North Queensland Engineering Project of the Year at The Far North Queensland Engineering Awards.

Thursday Island beautification project

Council appointed us to provide project management, design documentation and contract administration on the $2.2 million project that consists of pathways extending 500 metres, electrical works and observations decks.

PDR | SMEC
Office: Level 1, 258 Mulgrave Rd
Post: PO Box 2551,
Cairns QLD 4870
Tel: +61 7 4051 5599

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