Expl CNFERENCE / ElbuRNE, viC, 8 - 9 NvEbER 2011
At a total value of A$4.8 billion, Brisbane’s Airport Link Projectis Australia’s biggest road infrastructure project. Scheduled forcompletion in mid-2012, the 6.7 km underground toll road willconnect Brisbane’s central business district and the Clem JonesTunnel (CLEM7) to the East-West Arterial Road, which leadsdirectly to the Brisbane Airport (BrisConnections, 2010).It will be the rst major motorway to link Brisbane city to thenorthern suburbs and the airport precinct, allowing motoriststo avoid up to 18 sets of trafc lights. The blasting contractor’sexpertise in controlled blasting technology was called upon by the project leaders, to blast large areas of rock on the surfaceand underground, which was too hard for mechanical rock breakers to work efciently.During construction of the Airport Link tunnel portalat Kedron in Brisbane, a remnant pillar of rock (approximately 2250 m
) required removal from a sensitive area, next to amajor arterial road and within metres of existing infrastructure.The site is surrounded by critical civil infrastructure andis within 100 m of heritage listed buildings, residences andprivately owned sensitive receivers. As the blasting contractor had been conducting moreconventional construction blasting on the site for severalmonths, they were asked to come up with a solution toexcavate this remnant pillar of hard massive volcanic tuff fromthe site of a critical tunnel portal. This hard remnant pillar(Brisbane Tuff) was between 2 m and 6 m thick, 15 m highand 35 m wide; with a series of concrete piles embeddedat a distance of 1 m from blastholes which were required forthe excavation. The embedded concrete piles would formthe support structure for this section of the tunnel, and couldnot be damaged by blasting the pillar.Blasting on this site was strictly controlled, because it waslocated in the middle of a busy construction site and tunnelportal that had to remain operational 24 hours a day. There were strict vibration limits applying to the large concretesoil mix and secant pile walls adjacent to the site, and theadjacent privately owned and heritage listed structures.The risks associated with blasting in this environmenthad to be managed, while complying with the site’s strictenvironmental limits and reducing the effects of blastingoperations on nearby residents.The scope of the work performed in this area includeddesign, modelling, drilling and loading of the explosives, and blast clearance and shotring. Access to the top of the wall was limited so all products and equipment, including the 20 tdrill rig, had to be lifted in and out by crane.Due to the nature of the blast, with infrastructure 5 mdirectly in front of the 15 m high face, there was only ever goingto be one chance to get this blast right. This was an extremely complex blast that required the use of a number of differentpackaged explosives, as well as innovative timing techniquesonly made possible by using electronic initiating systems.
Senior Blasting Technician, Orica Quarry and Construction, PO Box 391, Beenleigh Qld 4207. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ontrolled Blating for ivilontruction in an rban Environent
Brisbane’s Airport Link is Australia’s largest road infrastructure project, worth a total value of A$4.8 billion. The project is using surface and underground blasting to excavatehard volcanic rock, Brisbane Tuff. This paper tells the story of the most challenging anddifcult blast of the whole project: the removal of a remnant pillar of rock (approximately 2250 m
) next to a major arterial road and within 100 m of existing infrastructure includinga number of heritage listed buildings, residences and privately owned sensitive receivers.The pillar consisted of a hard rock wall (Brisbane Tuff) between 2 m and 6 m thick,15 m high and 35 m wide; with
precast concrete piles embedded within 1 m of the boundary of the pillar. Orica Australia Pty Limited was contracted by Thiess John Holland,to perform the work in this area, including design, modelling, drilling and loading of theexplosives, as well as blast clearance and shotring. Access to the area was limited so allexplosives and equipment, including the 20 t drill rig, had to be lifted in and out by crane.Due to the nature of the blast, with infrastructure 5 m directly in front of the 15 m high face,there was only ever going to be one chance to get this blast right. This was an extremely complex blast which required the use of a number of different types of packaged explosives, as well asspecial timing techniques only made possible by using electronic initiating systems. This typeof blast is high risk, and is more typical of a building demolition in the urban environment.The blast was red on the 25 September 2010, and was highly successful. The environmentalresults for vibration and overpressure were well under the imposed limits, and the embeddedconcrete piles remained undamaged.
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