Since mid-2009 around 250 workers have been involved in the production and placement of the 216 massive counterforts – giant seven storey concrete blocks that form the 1.85km waterfront for the new five berth terminal, designed to cater for Sydney’s long-term growth.
“This project has had a very real positive impact on the [local] economy. Many of the materials used in the project have come from across the state,” explained McLeay. This has included 62,000 tonnes of gravel; 34,000 tonnes of sand; and 24,000 tonnes of cement from various locations around NSW.
The counterforts were built on-site in order to reduce the impact of truck movements on the local community, with fewer than 20 truck trips required each day. It has been estimated that to deliver fresh concrete to the site for the construction of the units would have required as many as 50 truck trips a day.
Once completed, each counterfort was transported to a temporary wharf before being taken by barge to its final location and lowered onto a compacted sand and gravel bed in order to form the new wharf wall.
Base construction work on the terminal will continue until the middle of 2011, at which time the site will be handed over to Hutchison Port Holdings for fit-out, in preparation for the start of its operations in 2012.