Winter works season full steam ahead

Tuesday 15 May, 2018

Goulburn-Murray Water’s (GMW’s) Winter Works program will swing into action this month to complete a range of improvement works across the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID).

This year the Campaspe Siphon Relining Project near Rochester will be a key focus, which will see the existing siphon relined with fibre-reinforced concrete. This will ensure the historic asset continues to operate and provide service to both Rochester and Loddon Valley Irrigation Districts.

Work on the Bulls Siphon, 5km east of Campaspe Siphon, will be another significant project as the old structure is removed and replaced. 

GMW Managing Director Pat Lennon said the entire Winter Works period, which runs May 15 to August 15, is estimated to see $4.5 million spent on the linear works (channel remediation) program, with five crews assigned across nine sites in the GMID.

This includes three sites in the Murray Valley area, two sites in Shepparton, two sites in Rochester, one in Loddon Valley and one in Torrumbarry. 

“We’ve spent about $9 million on linear works already, prior to the start of Winter Works,” Mr Lennon said.

In Shepparton, a geo-composite liner will be trialled in a channel as part of GMW’s remodelling program. 

GMW Lead Project Manager Linc Wellington said the benefits will include minimising the amount of fill material that is required to be carted to site.

“With traditional remodelling work it requires select clay material to be imported which is where a lot of the cost is. However with this trial site we can utilise the existing material onsite to build and shape the banks with minimal fill being carted. 

“Once the bed is cut and banks are shaped the liner can be placed and tied into the channel banks with rock armour placed over the top,” Mr Wellington said.

In addition to the linear works program, an estimated $5.5 million will be spent on structure works, with ten crews assigned for this winter’s program. 

GMW has 41 structures due to be completed during Winter Works, some additional works have already been completed during the irrigation season. This will take the total to 63 structures within the 2017/18 program.

Mr Wellington said beyond the Campaspe Siphon and Bull Siphon works, other structural projects will include but are not limited to: 

  • Upgrading a road culvert in Torrumbarry with 2.1m diameter reinforced concrete pipes. One headwall will be installed on one side, which is a cost-saving initiative and will eliminate the need to install a second headwall. Budgeted at $214,000.

  • Refurbishing two road bridges in Torrumbarry, with a project cost of $185,000 each. A cost saving will be achieved by utilising the same crew on both projects.
  • Upgrading rail crossings in the Central Goulburn area – GMW will manage the design and construction contract with V/Line. Two crossings will be upgraded, and both assets are at least 100 years old. 

  • Replacing the East Goulburn 2 channel siphons in Shepparton. The two barrels are old and prone to leakage, and will be replaced with a single-barrel reinforced concrete pipe. This project is budgeted at $480,000. A road crossing will also be replaced with a 36m long 1050mm diameter pipe, budgeted at $120,000.
  • In Murray Valley, projects include replacement of a road crossing at Yourang Rd, and replacement of a road crossing on the Murray Valley Number 1 Channel, budgeted at $293,000 and $311,000 respectively. 

  • In Central Goulburn, an occupational crossing will be replaced with a 12m long box culvert, budgeted at $166,000.
  • In Loddon Valley, a section of the Western Waranga Channel will be replaced with a 17m long box culvert, with works budgeted at $220,000.