New parallel runway for Brisbane Airport

On Thursday, 10 October 2013 the Brisbane Airport Corporation announced the construction of the 300 ha platform for their new parallel runway. The global Expressions of Interest and subsequent Tender process started in December 2010 with the contract being awarded to the Australian subsidiary of Jan De Nul Group on 3 October 2013. The official announcement ceremony, attended by the Acting Australian Prime Minister, the Honourable Warren Truss and the Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk took place, appropriately, on the centreline of the future runway.

The scope entails the dredging of up to 13 million m³ of sand at 1.5h sailing distance from the airport of Brisbane. For this job, Jan De Nul Group will mobilize its ultramodern trailing suction hopper dredger Charles Darwin (built in 2010).

The works need to be finished by March 2015 to allow the 2 to 3 years for the sand platform to consolidate the underlying soft swampy soils before construction of the runway and taxiway pavements can commence around 2017. The new parallel runway system is targeted to be operational in 2020.

Challenge

The challenge of this project is the distance between the dredge area and the delivery point of the dredged sand. The Charles Darwin will pump the sand through a pipeline that will at its most distance be nearly 8 km long. Additionally, this pipeline will have to cross the airport area, and even go under a runway, which makes this operation extremely delicate.

Local employment

During the peak of construction Jan De Nul Group will employ about 220 people, of which 75% will be local workers.