NEXT STAGE: The first pier skirt is placed onto the new Grafton Bridge.
NEXT STAGE: The first pier skirt is placed onto the new Grafton Bridge. Caitlan Charles

65 tonnes of skirt lifted onto river pile

IMAGINE lowering an 11 metre long, five metre wide, two metre deep, 65 tonne piece of concrete over two piles with the mighty Clarence River beneath you.

That is what happened yesterday morning when the first pier skirt was placed over the piles on the new Grafton Bridge..

The pier skirt was trucked into the temporary jetty on the southern embankment of the Clarence River before a crane lifted the skirt by points cast into the concrete.

The crane then lifted and rotated the skirt into place.

The skirt is secured to the piles by a temporary steel brackets that is welded to each of the pile castings. Once it's in place, reinforced steel and concrete will secure it in place.

The skirt is the next stage of building the pier that will eventually support the bridge framework.

Once the reinforced steel is in place on top of the pier skirt, concrete will be pumped from the land to make the pier.

As the first pier is built, piling will continue across the river.

The pier skirt was precast off site as a more efficient and safer way. The controlled environment ensure a better quality product that can be made while the piles are being made in the river.

Roads and Maritime have been working on a number of projects as part of the bridge build, including the precast facility in South Grafton which had it's foundations pored recently. The bridge segments will be made in the precast facility.



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