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Case Study_Boral Orange Grove Construction Blasting
Case Study_Boral Orange Grove Construction Blasting

Originally installed in the 1960’s, the Orange Grove crusher was being monitored for several structural and electrical issues and as a result, a business case was put together to replace the entire crushing and screening circuit.

Removing overhanging face Oparure Road – Waitomo, New Zealand

Transfield Services Ltd. Infrastructure division (Transfield) provides road maintenance services to the Waitomo District Council (WDC) on the North Island of New Zealand. Transfield were recently engaged by WDC to rehabilitate pavement on Oparure and Haurua Road . An optimal blast design was formulated by taking data collected using a Measurement Devices Ltd’s (MDL) Quarryman laser profiler and importing it into Orica’s ShotPLUS 5 software.

Controlled Blasting for Civil Construction in an Urban Environment

Brisbane’s Airport Link is Australia’s largest road infrastructure project, worth a total
value of A$4.8 billion. The project is using surface and underground blasting to excavate
hard volcanic rock, Brisbane Tuff. This paper tells the story of the most challenging and
difficult blast of the whole project: the removal of a remnant pillar of rock (approximately
2250 m3) next to a major arterial road and within 100 m of existing infrastructure including
a number of heritage listed buildings, residences and privately owned sensitive receivers.
The pillar consisted of a hard rock wall (Brisbane Tuff) between 2 m and 6 m thick,
15 m high and 35 m wide; with in situ precast concrete piles embedded within 1 m of the boundary of the pillar. Orica Australia Pty Limited was contracted by Thiess John Holland, to perform the work in this area, including design, modelling, drilling and loading of the explosives, as well as blast clearance and shotfiring. Access to the area was limited so all explosives and equipment, including the 20 t drill rig, had to be lifted in and out by crane. Due to the nature of the blast, with infrastructure 5 m directly in front of the 15 m high face, there was only ever going to be one chance to get this blast right. This was an extremely complex blast which required the use of a number of different types of packaged explosives, as well as special timing techniques only made possible by using electronic initiating systems. This type of blast is high risk, and is more typical of a building demolition in the urban environment. The blast was fired on the 25 September 2010, and was highly successful. The environmental results for vibration and overpressure were well under the imposed limits, and the embedded concrete piles remained undamaged.

Controlling high risk blasting in an urban environment The Airport Link Story

This paper tells the story of using controlled surface and underground blasting methods to excavate hard rock in three areas on Australia’s largest road infrastructure project; the Airportlink Project in Brisbane; worth a total value of AUD $4.8 billion. The project used blasting methods including design, modelling, drilling and loading of the explosives that had never been used before in Australia, some of these were probably unique in the world.
Firstly, the blasting contractor was asked to find a solution to excavate 30,000 cubic metres of hard massive volcanic tuff from the site of a critical tunnel portal, right next to a major arterial road, heritage listed buildings, a church and a three story office building. This Cut and Cover area was known as “The Plenum” as it is the area where multiple tunnels converge, as well as being the area where the ventilation ducts would channel the exhaust gasses away to be filtered in large ventilation buildings. The rock right throughout this area was hard massive volcanic tuff which in some cases exceeded 200 MPa in Uniaxial Compressive Strength.
During excavation of the Plenum, the principal contractors realised that a wedge of rock (approximately 2,250 cubic metres) had become sterilised by construction operations. The rock wedge consisted of a hard rock wall (Brisbane Tuff) with concrete piles embedded within one metre behind where the new face was to be created. Access to the area was limited so all explosives and equipment, including the 20 tonne drill rig, had to be lifted in by crane. The wall left from blasting the rock wedge had to be a stable presplit as this was where the northern section of tunnel would breakthrough into the Plenum.

Finally, the blasting contractor used underground development blasting techniques to remove the rock and breakthrough into the open construction site. This was a challenging operation as the concrete structure in the Plenum, including concrete walls, and a suspended concrete floor, had been built up against the rock wall left behind from blasting the rock wedge.

Blasting on site commenced in April 2010 and was completed by September 2011. The environmental results for vibration and overpressure were well under the imposed limits for all blasting onsite, and the blasting project was completed without incident or injury.

Managing Community Relations and ensuring Environmental Compliance in Trending

Auckland city council instigated a multi-million dollar stormwater upgrade scheme which involved the placement of large diameter pipes laid in trenches right down the middle of the road in a busy suburb. Auckland is generally sitting on basalt rock and this location was no exception. The question was asked “How can we possibly fragment and remove the solid rock at reasonable cost, particularly without disruption to road users?”


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