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Unearthing a gem

McMahon Services once again takes home the CCF Earth Award Category 2, this time for the transformation of the former SA Water site at Thebarton

The transformation of the historic SA Water Thebarton site from a works and maintenance depot into a rolling landscape has earned McMahon Services the 2012 CCF Earth Award for Category 2 ($1 million – $ 5 million).

Earmarked for the development of an ‘Urban Forest’, McMahon Services was contracted by SA Water and The Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI) to prepare the site from early demolition works to environmental remediation and rehabilitation.

Expected to open in mid-2013, the contemporary woodland setting will serve as a community parkland on the outskirt of Adelaide’s CBD, utilising Indigenous plant species, renewable energy and sustainable landscape principles.

As part of the judging process, Senior Civil/Remediation Project Manager, Gary Fitzpatrick presented to a panel of six who soon discovered the technical complexities of the project.

“The key challenges for McMahon Services included the coordination of 17 excavations with differing types and levels of contaminants, the discovery of latent service trenches across the site and the depot in close proximity to a local school, main arterial roads with high traffic flows, local businesses, a rail line and residential properties” said Gary.

Demonstrating innovation at its best, the project team utilised a land plane equipped with GNSS infrastructure and Trimble Site Vision Grade Control Software instead of the traditional method of excavator and trucks, to deliver a more timely and accurate excavation and backfill process.

With varying soils, elevations and grades making it difficult for site engineers and machine operators to convert design drawings into a physical reality, the surveying team saw this challenge as an opportunity to implement 3D grade control technology.

“This technology maximised machine productivity with 3D grade control, design information and live cut/fill indication displayed in real time in the cab allowing excavation and grading to be done without the use of timber stakes” said Gary.

The panel was also impressed with McMahon Services’ ability to use all contaminated material as backfill for the repositories and all clean material re-used across the site.

Accepting the award in-front of over 350 industry members at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, McMahon Services was commended for innovation, environmental management and overall industry best practice.

Congratulations to the Civil team and all those involved for making this project such a great success.