Albany Project – BGC, The Gap

Principal:  Department of Parks and Wildlife
Subcontractor:  BGC Construction
Landscaping and Architectural Design:  Department of Parks and Wildlife
Structural and Geotechnical Engineering:  GHD Pty Ltd

The Gap and Natural Bridge project is progressing forward and despite some delays (the recent fires in Torndirrup National Park being one example) is expected to be open next year. The unique design has the walkways and viewing areas blended into the surrounding natural landscape in a seamless manner.

Chris Fry has used his broad range of skills and ingenuity to help avoid some unforeseen design issues and produce effective solutions to the client’s problems as they have arisen. Chris’ efforts have been greatly appreciated and have indeed helped us secure additional BGC jobs around Albany.

The recent Torndirrup National Park fires burnt through the night causing construction delays. Photo Credit: Michael Rayner
The recent Torndirrup National Park fires burnt through the night causing construction delays. Photo Credit: Michael Rayner

Chris’s pro-active approach in this job has been exceptionally crucial during the construction phase of the beams. The six stainless steel beams are fabricated in the Boyd Metal Industries Welshpool Factory, some 400km away. Both Boyd Metal and BGC need certainty that the constructed beams, (weighing approximately 3 tonnes each) will fit to their designed position and alignment inside 2 large cleats which are firmly anchored into the granite. This certainty was achieved through the close collaboration between Chris Fry in Albany and Chris VanderPlas in Perth. This inter-office synergy enabled Harley Dykstra to be pro-active in completing accurate as-constructed surveys of each beam with responsive reporting of results back to Boyd Metal Industries.

The stainless-steel beams are approximately 15-20m long, and are constructed in 4 sections. Once initially set-up and assembled, the Harley Dykstra survey team in Perth would complete a check survey for Chris Fry to analyse. With-in hours, Boyd Metal were given the assurance they needed to commence final welding of the beam sections.

Using the assistance of an overhead crane to manoeuvre a tail beam section into position
Using the assistance of an overhead crane to manoeuvre a tail beam section into position
Conducting the as-constructed survey of beam 6 in the Boyd Metal Industries Welshpool workshop. This beam has now been installed on site (see picture below)
Conducting the as-constructed survey of beam 6 in the Boyd Metal Industries Welshpool workshop. This beam has now been installed on site (see picture below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After final-welding, each beam is separated back into the main 4 segments and sent for passivating (to protect the steel from corrosion once installed at the gap). After passivating and polishing, the beam sections are re-assembled in the Boyd Factory. During this setup, Chris VanderPlas and David MacInnes guided the process by accurately setting out and checking the horizontal and vertical alignment of the 4 sections. The results of this set-up survey were then sent back to Chris Fry to ensure that when the beam arrived on-site there would be no surprise adjustments necessary.

Gap Picture 5
Working together with the fabricators at Boyd to maintain the alignment of the beam sections while ensuring absolute integrity and aesthetics at each join

The key advantages in this collaboration were:

  1. 1. Controlling the beam construction to maintain design parameters
  2. 2. Correct any beam alignment errors during the set-up survey
  3. 3. Anticipate any difficulties before the beams arrive on-site at the Gap

Through the ability to offer survey services in both Albany and Perth, Harley Dykstra has been able to work closely with both Boyd Metal Industries and BGC to ensure the forming of the complex-curved beams will fit the infrastructure on site. This collaborative effort from both Chris Fry and Chris VanderPlas has enabled the majority of beam welding to take place in the Perth workshops, saving the client both time and money, while adding certainty and accuracy – which are both vital in this high-profile project!

Currently Chris is in the process of fitting the steel support beams manufactured by Boyd Metal Industries in Perth to the pre cast bolts and pads on site in Albany.

Chris Fry working on site at the Gap. Beam 6 is shown fixed into the granite rock surface at the gap in its two cleats.
Chris Fry working on site at the Gap. Beam 6 is shown fixed into the granite rock surface at the gap in its two cleats.

Albany Office

116 Serpentine Rd, Albany WA 6330
Phone: 9841 7333

Bunbury Office

21 Spencer Street, Bunbury WA 6230
Phone: 9792 6000

Forrestdale Office

Unit 1, 2 Hensbrook Loop, Forrestdale WA 6112
Phone: 9495 1947

Perth Office

Level 1/252 Fitzgerald Street, Perth WA 6000
Phone: 9228 9291