The West Gate Bridge is a steel box girder, cable-stayed bridge in Melbourne, Victoria spanning the Yarra River just north of its mouth into Port Phillip. It carries the West Gate Freeway and is a vital link between Melbourne CBD and the western suburbs. The high span bridge was built to allow large cargo ships to access the docks in the Yarra River. It is one of the highest road decks in Australia, clearing the water at 58 metres and has a total length of 2.58km.
The requirements at Pier 15 needed Stilcon Scaffolding to provide a 47-metre-high stick build scaffold to the spine and wing sections. This scaffold project was engineered, then proof engineered and surveyed with IFC drawings.
To assist with efficiencies on this project, Stilcon Scaffolding supplied its own cranes which enabled the team to be more self-sufficient during the build of the stick scaffold. Stilcon Scaffolding worked closely with plant and equipment at high levels and with 90 tonne cranes in the delivery of scaffolding and equipment.
As this project had high risk elements and involved working with heights, Stilcon Scaffolding took it upon themselves to offer several VOC trainings, as well as ensuring rescue training was completed by all scaffolders working on Pier 15.
The foundations of the scaffolding were complex as it had to go around the alimak, through the security fencing and the temporary roofing, and then fall towards the ground site of Pier 15 – which was a two-metre drop.
This foundation was crucial for the finished scaffold at the top. It took a lot of surveying and engineering, by Stilcon Scaffolding team, to get the 14.5 metres x 45 metres foundations right, due to the elements of the structures encountered around Pier 15.
The team also had to consider the grillage canter levered platform where the alimak steps off as well as the structural stairs and steel ward platform around Pier 15 at approximately 40 metres in the air. The engineering and design were of exceptional standard and industry leading.
Once at 35 metres, the design of the scaffold, had to be checked by the scaffolders referencing the IFC drawings and then raise RFI (request for information) if needed. This was due to the potential additional needs identified once on site to get around the steel structures at 40 metres.
The requirements included one working level scaffold, for the team of painters to work from a stable consistent deck, while completing the painting project. To create this the scaffold had to consist of cantilevers using ladder beams and needing to support the grillage to take the weight of the access scaffold, while also providing a 450kg medium duty scaffold for the painters to work off.
The Stilcon Scaffolding team acknowledged they were working on one of the most iconic structures in Melbourne. The most unique element, they faced, was working at such great height which does not happen often. The success of the delivery of the scaffolding to meet all the clients’ requirements is a great testament to the teams’ abilities.
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