Urban Utilities has begun construction on a new tunnel to be dug beneath one of Brisbane’s busiest motorways, as part of a major waste infrastructure upgrade to cater for the city’s growing population.
The $45 million project involves building a new kilometre-long wastewater pipe four storeys below ground, which will run from Bowen Hills to Windsor.
Urban Utilities Spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said the new pipe will be the one of the largest in Urban Utilities’ 9,000km wastewater network.
“We plan well ahead for the future and this catchment area on Brisbane’s northside is expected to grow by around 37,000 people over the next 30 years,” Ms Cull said.
“That means a lot more toilets flushing and showers being used, so it’s important we continue to invest in essential infrastructure for our growing community.”
Ms Cull said the pipe will be built using trenchless and remotely operated technology, with most of the construction work taking place beneath the city’s streets, including the busy Inner City Bypass.
“A tunnel borer weighing 29t, the equivalent of around 16 cars, will tunnel up to 14m below ground to install the new 2m diameter pipe,” Ms Cull said.
“By using this state-of-the-art technology, we’re able to carry out this significant upgrade while minimising impacts on traffic, customers and the community.
“It’s a far cry from the traditional tunnelling methods used by miners to build the city’s largest and oldest sewer pipe – the S1 Main Sewer – in 1915.”
Ms Cull said a competition was held with Fortitude Valley Secondary College students to design artwork to transform the tunnel boring machine into a colourful work of art.
“The budding artists presented their work which resulted in the borer being decorated with a river-inspired design by Year Nine student, Simone Baquiran,” Ms Cull said.
“We were so impressed by the creativity and talent showcased in all of the designs, with the winning artwork inspired by a love of our natural environment and Brisbane’s waterways.”
The Urban Utilities project, being carried out with delivery partner, Fulton Hogan, is expected to be completed early 2024.
Feature image; The new tunnel to be dug beneath one of Brisbane’s busiest motorways. Provided by Urban Utilities.