The Level Crossing Removal Project is a massive undertaking requiring hours of labour and works underway at various sites around the city and suburban areas. As we sit in our cars, held up by traffic lights or a worker holding the Stop/Slow sign reminding us to take care, it can be easy to overlook the assets used in such a project.
At Toorak Road site recently, piling rigs and cranes could be viewed by cars passing on the road. Visibility is always at peak during the construction phase, due to monstrous assets like piling rigs and cranes onsite. The piling rig bores the 34 piles needed to support the rail bridge structure. Each pile is up to twenty metres deep and over 2 metres in diameter. Following the boring, two cranes lift a cylindrical cage—weighing between nine and twelve tonnes—and slot it into the pile1.
This enables the pile to be reinforced with steel and concrete, providing secure foundations that will ensure the stability of the rail bridge once erected.
The nature of the work undertaken by piling rigs and cranes is vastly different; foundation work undertaken by piling rigs is inherently harder on equipment, but cranes carry heavy loads at great heights, often in locations close to private dwellings or public spaces. It is important then, that these large assets undergo rigorous maintenance procedures to ensure the safety of the equipment and the workers. The maintenance of both assets is overseen through an industry partnership between The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) and Piling and Foundation Specialists Foundation (PFSF). It has been widely acknowledged by those working closely with rigs and cranes that the standard of maintenance has been significantly improved since the formation of the industry partnership, and its PileSafe and CraneSafe green sticker programs2.
As part of the green sticker programs, assets are inspected by an independent body. Measurements are taken in order to track the wear and tear of the many individual components in each asset. Written reports are provided by the supervising engineer and a green sticker is issued for that particular asset. Inspections are annual, and crucial.
Next time you’re near a level crossing removal site, take a moment to have a look—if safe to do so—at the assets creating new assets.
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