Lendlease has begun piling work on the airport's AUS$200 million (US$137 million) Southern Terminal Expansion project, which will double the footprint of the existing terminal, delivering a new departure lounge, aerobridges, border control facilities and additional retail space.
A brand-new, 80t continuous flight auger (CFA) piling rig has been mobilised to site to construct foundations ahead of the eventual construction of aerobridges to connect aircraft to the new terminal.
Queensland Airports Ltd property and infrastructure executive general manager, Carl Bruhn said work on the first of 224 piles for the project had begun, using innovative techniques necessitated by the sensitive nature of the site. "It's exciting for us to see the first piles drilled and poured on the aircraft apron where we will be constructing the new terminal's four aerobridges.
"Aerobridges have been on the ‘wish list' of many of our passengers and this is the first tangible step towards delivering those.
"It is essential our current airport operations are not impacted by this construction activity, so we have had to work closely with our building contractor, Lendlease, to come up with solutions to minimise the impact wherever possible - both for passengers and surrounding residents."
The 30m tall piling rig will excavate and place 2,500m3 of concrete into 224 piles over the duration of the project, with pile diameters ranging from 600mm to 1,050mm. It is expected about four to eight piles will be installed each day.
To minimise disruption, piling reinforcement cages will be prefabricated offsite and installed with a 60ft crawler crane. If all of the piles were laid out in a straight line, they would span a total distance of approximately 2.6km.
Lendlease Building Queensland GM, Brad Protheroe said the company had decided to use the CFA piling system, which minimises disruption to surrounding infrastructure.
"The CFA piling system allows us to drill to the final depth in one continuous process, with stability to the surrounding soil reinforced along the way," he said.
"This type of piling technique is considered the best solution for the structural loads and soil conditions on the Gold Coast Airport project as it is virtually vibration-free, minimising the impact on adjacent infrastructure.
"It also minimises the noise impacts during construction on surrounding neighbours."
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