Channel Deepening

The Port Phillip Channel Deepening Project was the most complex marine infrastructure development in the 150-year history of the Port of Melbourne.

Successfully completed on 25 November 2009, the project has provided the Port of Melbourne with shipping channels of 14 metres draught (without tidal assistance). This has opened the “sea highway” to Melbourne for the next 30 years and consolidates Melbourne’s status as Australia’s premier container port.

As part of the works, a program of structural upgrades to existing berths, (32 South Wharf, East and West Swanson Docks) was undertaken by Fitzgerald to the value of $ 42 Million which ensured stability beside the deepened channels and a widening of the swing basins to accommodate the larger vessels.

Included within the works were:

  • The demolition of the existing heavily reinforced structural concrete wharf deck,  undertaken from jack up barges and extraction of precast and timber piles;
  • Supply and installation of 850 number piles up to lengths of 36 metres in a single length, vertical and 30 degree ranking piles with varying diameters up to 762 mm OD);
  • Sheet piling both traditional profiles to lengths of 12 metres and clutch tubular sheet piles to a length of 34 metres in a single length;
  • Construction of structural concrete dead man anchors;
  • Construction of capping beams connecting the newly placed steel piles into the existing wharf structural deck;
  • Rock socketing of piles into basalt rock profile to ensure pile tension capacity is achieved;
  • Marine protection coatings of the abovementioned steel elements;
  • CFA piles
  • Rock revetment and Installation of Navigational markers;
  • Carbon fibre strengthening of existing wharf decks.

All works were undertaken within the fully operational, (24 hours per day, 7 days per week) stevedore facilities where access paths, co-ordination, works interface, security, program, quality and performance of the works were all fundamental and critical importance.

The Channel Deepening project received the Project of the Year award at the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) Awards ceremony in March 2010.

Channel Deepening
Channel Deepening
Channel Deepening
Channel Deepening