The Australasian Tunnelling Society recently held the Mt Cootha Quarry site visit, with the Brisbane City Council and Quarry Manager Robert Bell kindly allowing access. The visit included exhibitor demonstrations from a variety of contractors and suppliers at the centre of the Quarry, and technical presentations from ATS members and invited speakers. The site visit was well attended, with Around 70 attendees and 12 exhibitors showing up for a full day schedule.

The first half of the day kicked off with exibitor demonstrations and displays from:

  • Vermeer
  • Brokk – Remote control demonlition
  • Jemna – Shotcreting
  • Stacey Agnew – Fire Bus
  • Mobile Conveying Services – Telebelt Display
  • Orana – Drill and Blast
  • Bluey – Ground Support Systems
  • Gabion Baskets -caged rock
  • Jennmar – Ground support systems

Shotcrete supported by:

  • Hocim – Supply
  • BASF – Additives
  • BarChip – Fibres

The comprehensive demonstrations were followed by an afternoon of technical presentations on a wide array of tunnelling related topics. Aurecon’s Ground and Underground Engineering Leader, Bari Thomas, kicked off with an overview of the geology of the Mt Cootha Quarry, as well as the broader Brisbane Area.

Alan Robertson, Director of Ausrocks, informed the audience of synergies between tunnelling and quarry projects to more efficiently transport tunnel spoil, and presented compelling case studies within the Brisbane area to which these concepts could be effectively applied.

Jiwoo Ahn, Geotechnical Engineer at PSM, followed by presenting a probabilistic methodology to adopt and justify design rock loads for tunnel support design, while highlighting the limitations of current practices.

Next we had Craight Wright, Barchip’s Civil Manager, detail the practicalities of shotcrete trialling on site, and inform the audience of best practices regarding preparation and care of the test specimens.

The afternoon of technical presentations was rounded off by Herrenknecht’s (Australia) Managing Director, Charles Howarth, who gave a comprehensive rundown of the major tunnel infrastructure projects in the southern hemisphere, while detailing the evolution of the tunnel boring machines that implemented lessons learnt from previous projects.

Special thanks must go to the sponsors:

  • Gold Supporter: Vermeer
  • Silver Supporters: Aurecon and Herrenknecht
  • Coffee vans: Jennmar and ATS