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Brisbane almost runway ready

Of all the journeys Brisbane Airport has borne witness to, the construction of its new runway would have to rank as the most intricate.

The 3.3 kilometre runway is on track to be completed in 2020, eight years after construction began.

By the time the $1.3 billion project is finished, crews will have undertaken 5,000,000 cubic metres of earthworks, involving about 1.2 million tonnes of quarry products, and about 100,000 tonnes of aircraft grade asphalt.

The magnitude of the process was not lost on project director Paul Coughlan, who told WILLIAMS MEDIA the final stages provided an opportunity for reflection.

"The completion date really isn't that far away now for what has been quite a long delivery," he said.

"I think it is beginning to hit people that this is really coming, which it is."

Construction may have begun in 2012, but Mr Coughlan's association with the new runway stretches back to the initial planning stage in 2009.

After completing the necessary studies and recieving government approval, work began on the design of what was known as phase one, which consisted of dredging parts of the land.

Mr Coughlan said it would prove to be the most challenging part of the construction process.

"Given parts of the runway were below high tide levels we needed to do something to stabilise the land," he said.

"We knew we needed a very large dredger, because we couldn't get anywhere close to the runway," he said.

"We consulted with the dredging industry about what their capabilities were, knowing any dredge would have to use the Port of Brisbane navigational channel"

The Charles Darwin dredger arrived from overseas in June 2014 to pump almost 11 million cubic metres of sand from Moreton Bay into the runway site via Port Brisbane.

Mr Coughlan said they made sure to consider the environmental impact of the engineering process.

"Moreton Bay is out backyard and we didn't want to spoil our backyard," he said.

"We did extensive studies to make sure the bay wouldn't be harmed."

Following the completion of the dredging in 2015, work began on the final stages of the project. 

Since 2016, a new seawall has been added, as well as an underpass which opened to the public in October last year.

The runway's Airfield Works contract was awarded to Skyway in 2017.


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Construction on Brisbane Airport's new runway is well into its final stages, with the project set to be completed midway through 2020. 

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Date Posted: 7/02/2019
Number of Views: 541
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