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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.

We’re reliable, we’re respectful and we take responsibility

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The Westgate Bridge has a long history with building commencing in 1968. Two years into construction of the bridge, at 11.50 am on 15 October 1970, the 112m (367.5 ft) span between piers 10 and 11 collapsed and fell 50m (164 ft) to the ground and water below. Thirty-five construction workers were killed. A monument has been erected at the base of Pier 10 to the fallen workers. This created a unique environment for the team to work in as they were building around this monument – even with the much advance knowledge, vision and engineering the team now has and the capabilities of the team – they are still aware of the danger and the history of that bridge and ensured at all time safety was of extreme importance to everyone.

To assist with efficiencies on the project, Stilcon Scaffolding supplied its own cranes and booms which enabled the team to be more self-sufficient during the build. They worked with plant and equipment at high levels such as working out of booms that reach up to 60 or 70 metres high and working closely with 90 tonne cranes in the delivery of scaffolding and equipment. Due to the high-risk elements involved working at these heights, Stilcon Scaffolding took it upon themselves to offer several VOC trainings, also ensuring rescue training was completed by all scaffolders/riggers working on this project.

The Pier 10 requirements could not be built in-situ and so hence the design needed to address these restrictions. The Stilcon Scaffolding team came together to create cutting-edge designs that suited the client’s specific needs. It was designed as a cantilevered spanning scaffold extending from the grillage around Pier 10 and hanging from the protective barriers on the side of the bridge. This was a complex Layher scaffold design which had not been achieved before on the Westgate Bridge.

Pier 10 had four areas each with different design and work requirements.

  • Area One involved a 21-metre span off the grillage which covered the spine of the Westgate Bridge using a new Layher system call flex beams. It could not be connected to the actual bridge structure of the scaffold as it had to be separate from areas Two, Three and Four which all came off the side of the bridge.
  • Area Two was a waterfall effect coming from the side of the barriers on the east and west side of the bridge and cascading down towards Area One from the wings of the scaffold to the spine of bridge.
  • Area Three came off the structural stairs and spanned out five metres with a cantilever of eight metre ladder beam going towards the north and south side of the bridge on Pier 10.
  • Area Four had to be completed with flex beam drilled into top of Pier 10 and then cantilever out towards the west to create a one-piece scaffolding around the top of Pier 10 to cover all painting aspects of the project.

The Stilcon Scaffolding team acknowledged they were working on one of the most iconic structures in Melbourne. The complexity of all these elements and the ability to find solutions is what the Stilcon Scaffolding team pride themselves on, as this in turn benefits their clients on each project.

We’re reliable, we’re respectful and we take responsibility

Chisolm Prison

Chisholm Road Prison is a new maximum-security prison being built in the vicinity of the Lara prison precinct, which will accommodate 1,248 prisoners when finished. With a focus on community safety, the state-of-the-art facility will feature the highest and most stringent level of security.

Stilcon Group was engaged to deliver access to all prison cells across the project. There were four John Holland teams working across several buildings within the project. Team 1 worked across 16 MA buildings; Team 2 worked across 12 MA buildings; Team 3 worked across 10 MA buildings and Team 4 worked across 16 MA buildings. Stilcon Scaffolding and Stilcon Steel needed to be agile to work together with each of these four teams with differing timelines and needs, ensuring they understood the capacities and efficiencies available to them.

Stilcon Scaffolding designed and engineered egress and aggress solutions across the project. They also developed scaffolding solutions to support Stilcon Steel requirements for the steel section of the project. Stilcon Scaffolding was able to combined scaffolds to work for other trades which was cost effective for the client created a time saving for the John Holland team.

During the pre-planning stage of the project, Stilcon Scaffolding and Stilcon Steel decided to set up two fully functioning satellite offices on site. It was determined that this was the best solution to fulfil the requirements of efficiencies and communications for such a large spread project in a regional location. For the Stilcon Scaffolding team, it was integral to the ongoing daily logistical requirements that instant capacity was available onsite to make changes on the fly. Even though this was not a requirement of the project, it ensured the best option for us to meet our client’s needs.

Stilcon Group had the logistical capabilities to supply between 50 & 60 team members across scaffolding, rigging, steel fabrication, plant hire and transport duties to this project. In addition, also had the fully operational office team on site which incorporated design and engineering, project co-ordinators, construction manager and support staff of up to twelve team members. A full suite of plant & equipment such as scissor lifts, cranes, boom lifts, generators etc was onsite along with the transport logistics required.

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The client needed to remove all fire flammable cladding off the terminal building and the connecting hotel. The flammable cladding was all the way from the passenger side to the operational side of the airport. It was imperative to ensure the ongoing operation of the airport was not compromised during the life of the project.

Stilcon Scaffolding design and engineering team worked together with the client’s project management team to design specialised scaffolding that could work in unique places on the passenger side of the airport. The scaffold had to be built around the entrance and exit doors. The design needed to incorporate live traffic entering airport while keeping the project on track.

Stilcon Scaffolding supplied scaffolding to the operational side of the airport which was not visible to pedestrians. The team needed to understand the complexities of working with planes and service vehicles still in service, while building the scaffolding. 

These unique challenges were meet which ensured the client, Maz Group, was able to maintain their daily schedule, as they were working within a tight budget guideline provided by their client APAM.

The ingenuity of the Stilcon Scaffold design and engineering team working with the operations team was able to design a solution for each of the unique elements of this project. These elements included

  • working around an operational airport and carpark
  • structuring a scaffold at a great height with limited spaces to tie the scaffold too
  • build a platform for the recladding team to perform their tasks each day.

Stilcon Scaffolding is now the preferred scaffolding company for all Maz Groups projects at the Melbourne Airport.

We’re reliable, we’re respectful and we take responsibility. 

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Stilcon Scaffolding now Stilcon Industrial Services

Stilcon Industrial Services

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