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Project Profile W8063

Strengthen Rail Index Machine Slab

Sub-industry
Problems
Subsidence
Location
ACT
Year
2008
Solutions
Re-levelling
Technology
Uretek®

The problem

At a remote mine in Western Australia, we strengthened the ground at up to 6m deep and lifted a 1500mm thick concrete rail index machine slab that was servicing 2km long iron ore trains carrying over 200- tonnes per wagon.

The causeway features three 12m long concrete reinforced culverts, each measuring 750mm in diameter, situated beneath the road and within an embankment.

The embankment consisted of compacted bedding material and backfill, with an ageing bluestone protection wall supporting the culvert pipes. The bluestone wall was significantly compromised in multiple places due to the force of the creek’s water flow, which became a raging torrent during rain events. Prior to the heavy rainfall, the reserve was exposed to bushfires which had destroyed vital areas of protective vegetation.

This allowed the creek’s fast flowing water to breach the bluestone wall in a number of places and washed away large amounts of soil fines from the embankment, creating several voids in the protective wall and erosion beneath the causeway.

Worried about the ongoing stability of the road and culverts, the ACT Parks and Conservation Service commissioned a ground penetrating radar (GPR) test to assess the damage and severity of the voiding beneath the roadway. While the road was determined to be structurally adequate for general vehicle use, the load limit had been compromised, preventing trucks and tourist buses from accessing the road.

To arrest the damage, ground improvement works were required to stabilise the embankment and re-support the ground beneath the road, while also protecting the long-term performance and durability of the culverts.

As the nature reserve was located in an environmentally sensitive area, replacing the existing culverts was quickly ruled out. Instead, Mainmark was commissioned to provide an environmentally safe, non-intrusive and cost-effective remediation solution.

The solution

To deep raise and re-level the slab and to ensure proper engagement between the index machine gearing and the spline.

The Result

The extremely heavy forces put onto the rail index machine slab area were creating safety and serviceability issues for the mine operations management.

The mine’s senior engineer accepted the methodology proposed, namely the Deep-Injection of proprietary engineered structural resins beneath the machine slabs to strengthen the sub-base soils and Uretek Slab-Lifting to re-level the slabs.

The work was successfully completed using the self contained Operations Rig and experienced personnel.

The index machine slab was given strengthened support and restored to level so that the iron ore trains could travel safely and efficiently on the rail.

We were required to ensure appropriate Occupational Health and Safety standards, and provide quality assurance method statements to the client.

Resources

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Strengthen Rail Index Machine Slab
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