Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Bridge progress update.

As mentioned back in my January post, here is the most recent series of photos on the construction of the new highway bridge over the Clarence River at Harwood.
These were taken last Saturday morning, under a grey and threatening sky.
All photos enlarge to full-size when clicked.

This is a huge structure. It's only as we see the girders being placed that the enormity of it becomes clear.
The size of the columns and cross-beams can be gauged by the men working on top doing the form-work for where the girders will be keyed to the beams.


Starting from the south side of the bridge - and looking southwards - the following sequence moves towards the centre of the existing bridge.
Columns are now starting to rise from the piers sunk in the river.


The cylindrical steel form-work for the construction of the concrete columns.


On the northern side of the river the girders are being positioned and are getting closer to the northern bank of the Clarence.


Finally, a few shots of the panorama from a vantage-point along the riverbank towards the sugar factory.

Soon the girders will be marching across the river, so my next update will most likely be later this month.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sums it all up, really.

A friend of mine, who is very handy with the drawing pencil, produces the occasional political cartoon.
He uses the pen-name "Fulcrum Frottage" and can be found on Facebook under that heading.

His latest comment is reproduced below and sums up all there is to say about the current situation.
What else is there to say?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

It's 2018 - Welcome to the first diary entry for the year.

It is several month's (October 2017) since I last updated the progress of the enormous new bridge which will carry the new dual-carriageway Pacific Highway across the Clarence River, some 9kms up-river from Yamba.

So yesterday morning at around 7 o'clock, on what was a beautiful clear summer's morn, I headed off and took the following series of pix.
Refer back to the October and August 2017 entries to follow the progress of the construction.
All images enlarge to full-size when clicked.

The above photos were taken from the same spot as two previous shots in October and August and look northward across the river. It is evident that all the piling work has been completed, the concrete piers and beams have been done for the northern approach and the construction of the piers in the river itself is well in hand.

Work on the southern approach has continued but emphasis has been on the northern side of the river.
Here on the southern side the concrete pilings are under construction.

The work which has progressed on the north side is most impressive, with the concrete columns and cross-beams now at the river's edge. In the distance you can see that installation of the huge longitudinal U-beams has commenced. These beams - each weighing over 100 tonnes - are manufactured on-site.

The steel brackets which project from the top of each column are used to anchor the form-work for the concrete cross-beams, which weigh 180 tonnes. The brackets, along with the stainless-steel ferrules into which they are bolted, are removed after the work is completed and the holes then filled with a composite mix.

The existing bridge - which will continue in use for local traffic (and which is being refurbished so that it will last for another 50+ years) - is dwarfed by one of the new "pi" structures.
(As soon as I saw the shape I was instantly reminded of the mathematical symbol for pi.)

I'll have another update in March.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

December - Rounding out the year.

The last activities for the year......which were certainly more pleasant than what happened on November 7th.!

December the 25th. was hot and steamy so a planned luncheon of cold turkey, ham and salads, finished with a traditional plum pudding, was right on the ball.

Venette was the hostess and we each brought part of the meal, so the responsibility for catering was shared amongst we five.

The afternoon kicked off at midday with drinks and nibbles and by 3:30 PM, when we were relaxing after clearing the table, an approaching storm-front, and a warning from the bureau of possible hail, brought the festivities to an end.

It was a lovely Christmas Day.



On the 10th. of December we had a musical evening, under the "baton" of Michele (of Michele Saunders Music Studio - my teacher), with three of us on keyboards & organ and vocalist Connor Wilmore leading the singing.
It was a great night, with everyone joining in and was capped off by the service of drinks, a delicious buffet served up by Venette, Ben and Graham and a dessert of the lightest creamy sponge cakes in the world provided by Gina.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dramas and excitement we didn't really need.

The last thing that you need to happen a month or so out from Christmas is a house fire....and that is exactly what we suffered on November 7th. - my daughter's birthdate and also the date of this year's Melbourne Cup.
So that is a date firmly embedded into our memories for evermore!

Fortunately, the fire itself - and local damage from the heat - was confined to one bedroom and the immediate external area outside the window............

However, the rest of our home was severely affected by smoke and the subsequent soot deposits, which were carried right through to the front of the building. Ceilings and upper wall areas were black.........

On the Tuesday afternoon the specialist cleaning company arrived and over the next three weeks they cleaned the soot off every surface they could see, including individual items on bench-tops, in cupboards, crockery, cutlery, food packages in the pantry, framed pictures on walls......everything was wiped down and placed back in the cleaned location then covered with plastic........

The job that they did was amazing, leaving painted surfaces fifty shades of grey (apparently the soot leaves a microscopic "etching" in the paint surface) but ready to be primed and painted when the restoration work takes place.

Right now our home is uninhabitable, with the living room and main bedroom looking like a furniture warehouse or ready for a garage sale!
But everything is operating....fridge, freezer, washing machine, etcetera....and the computer equipment in my study/office is fine.

All we are now doing is being patient; it is unlikely that building works will start before the Christmas holidays due to the annual summer shutdown.
We are very fortunate in that we are renting a vacant, furnished, house for sale within the resort and which is less than 100 metres from our place.
The view from the front verandah is very relaxing and with a nor-easterly breeze, most pleasant on a hot afternoon.
Panoramic view from three separate photos.

On a final note, the cause of the fire was most probably a short-circuit in either a bedside radio or the power board into which it was plugged.

Every cloud has a silver lining - we were both out of the house when the fire occurred (about 10:00 AM) and the neighbours had the fire out before the brigade arrived.

You can't ask for more than that in a situation like this.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The new Pacific Hwy. bridge over the Clarence....update

Two months ago (August 23rd.) I took some photos of work on the pilings for the northern approach for the new crossing. I made a blog entry HERE.

This morning I revisited the construction site to get some pics of the work underway for the pilings on the southern side, such work commencing only a couple of weeks ago.

So this blog update will consist mainly of photographs (all enlarge to full-size when clicked) and I'll kick off proceedings with a comparison between what the southern approaches looked like then and what they look like now. The shots were taken at about the same location...........

Here is another set of comparisons, with a view north across the river back in August (top) and a view from the same location taken this morning................

As you can see, the work for the northern piling tubes has been completed, as has most of the pile-driving for the tubes across the river and work on the southern tubes is well underway.
Look closely at the full-size image of the shot immediately above and you will see that one of the first concrete pylons on the north bank is being constructed.

The following photos are all from my visit this no particular order but showing the work being carried out on the southern side of the river.............
The earthworks in the right-background is part of the on/off ramp arrangement.
Plumes of steam rise from Harwood sugar mill.
Looking south and the piling tubes yet to be pounded into the ground.
The RMS are taking a photographic record of the construction. One of two cameras seen here.

The shot below is of one of the several trawlers which operate on the river. In the background is part of the village of Harwood, on the upstream (western) side of the bridge.

More galleries will be added as the bridgework continues.