Cables under bridge spark new Canberra light rail construction fears



Sullivans Creek flows beneath the bridge. The bridge is about 2.97 metres excessive, however the deepest part of trunking reduces that top by 75 centimetres.

In line with ACT authorities flood maps, the world of Sullivans Creek in query is assessed as “excessive hazard” – essentially the most critical degree.

Two sets of cable trunking – enclosures used to protect electrical cables – fixed to the underside of a bridge on Flemington Road. The area between the two shows the bridge's regular height.

Two units of cable trunking – enclosures used to guard electrical cables – fastened to the underside of a bridge on Flemington Highway. The realm between the 2 reveals the bridge’s common top.Credit score:Dion Georgopoulos

The depth of flooding within the space throughout a one-in-100-year flood could be greater than 1.5 metres, in keeping with the maps.

Sullivans Creek has flooded as not too long ago as February 2018, with rainfall in some components of the catchment exceeding one-in-500-year ranges in keeping with an ACT authorities flood data doc.


Electrical Trades Union ACT officer Mick Koppie mentioned if floodwaters couldn’t cross beneath the bridge as a result of the trunking had made it decrease in two areas, the water could be pushed up onto the sunshine rail tracks.

Requested whether or not he believed even a small quantity of flooding on the tracks may render trams inoperable, the skilled electrician replied: “Sure, I feel it will.”

“Any floodwaters that come up and begin operating throughout the highway won’t be good,” Mr Koppie mentioned.

“An excessive amount of water is unquestionably a difficulty. It might intervene with provide to the tram.


“I suppose even 100 millimetres [of water built up on the tracks] would make it inoperable.”

Development firm John Holland is answerable for design, building, operations and upkeep as a part of the Canberra Metro consortium that was in 2016 awarded an ACT authorities contract to construct and function stage one of many mild rail venture.

A spokesman for Canberra Metro and the ACT authorities’s Transport Canberra and Metropolis Providers directorate mentioned questions submitted by the Sunday Canberra Occasions in regards to the cables beneath the bridge had been detailed and technical.

He mentioned they deserved an equally detailed and technical response, which might not be doable by the deadline.

The newest issues about electrical work on the sunshine rail venture come after the Sunday Canberra Occasions revealed final weekend that electricians and their union representatives consider the venture may fail to obtain the impartial approvals it requires as a result of high-voltage cables are put in too near the floor.

Images conduits in a pit close to the intersection of the Federal Freeway and Flemington Highway seem to indicate some cables put in only a few millimetres beneath floor degree.

A pit near the intersection of the Federal Highway and Flemington Road in Canberra, where electrical cables appear to be installed just a few millimetres below ground level.

A pit close to the intersection of the Federal Freeway and Flemington Highway in Canberra, the place electrical cables seem like put in only a few millimetres beneath floor degree.Credit score:Sunday Canberra Occasions

That is regardless of the Australian customary the ACT authorities expects to be adopted for the sunshine rail venture requiring cables put in underground in areas accessible to the general public to be buried at the least 75 centimetres beneath floor degree.

Transport Canberra and Metropolis Providers mentioned it “totally anticipated” the sunshine rail venture to realize certification towards all related requirements, earlier than beginning to take passengers early this 12 months.

Blake Foden is a reporter on the Sunday Canberra Occasions. He has labored as a journalist in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

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