Thursday, July 25, 2024

Monster timber haul for Mt Gambier pool hall

The longest single glulam timber beams ever shipped to Australia – spanning 42 metres – will be loaded on to two trucks to make the journey from Port Melbourne to the $57.3million Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre construction site in Mount Gambier today.

“Timber was chosen as a feature following a feasibility assessment and extensive architectural research,” City of Mount Gambier Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre Project Sponsor, Barbara Cernovskis said.

“Timber is resistant to corrosion in an aquatic environment, has whole of life benefits for health, maintenance and operational costs and aligns closely with the original architectural intent.”

Thirteen 42-metre timber beams and two segmented beams were produced by German timber engineering project specialist HESS TIMBER for the pool hall within the Wulanda development.

The single large timber spans required for the roof meant the European Spruce product was sourced from overseas as the length was unable to be manufactured in Australia.

“Understanding the nature of the use of the facility, and what it means to the community over a number of generations, our priority was ensuring longevity of the build that would ultimately reduce long-term maintenance costs,” BADGE Senior Construction Manager, Mark Wyatt said.

“This particular product was selected as it will not require joins, given its length will span the roof. Those joins are where moisture and chemicals from an aquatic environment can begin to damage structure over years of use, as would any plain timber product,” he said.

The timber beams spanning 42 metres on board a truck in Germany in preparation to travel to Zeebrugee Port, Belgium.  Image courtesy HESS TIMBER.
The timber beams spanning 42 metres on board a truck in Germany in preparation to travel to Zeebrugee Port, Belgium.

The timber rafters were crafted at HESS TIMBER’s production facility in Kleinheubach, Germany. The beams departed from Zeebrugee Terminal in Belgium at the end of April and travelled approximately 25,000 kilometres via ocean to Australia as break-bulk-cargo, arriving at the wharf in Port Melbourne on June 12.

A specialist freight contractor used two mobile hydraulic cranes to unload the beams from the ocean freight platforms and on to each truck which will carry three to four timber beams each over four loads.

The timber beams arrived at the wharf in Port Melbourne on Saturday 12 June 2021. Image courtesy of Sandstruct.
The timber beams arrived at the wharf in Port Melbourne on June 12.

“The truck consists of a prime mover at the front with a separated steerable jinker at the rear. The beams themselves span the void between the two vehicles and act as the trucks middle section,” HESS TIMBER Business Development and Projects Manager, Tyson Infanti said.

“There are two multi-purpose boogies (MPBs) that will carry four individual loads to the site. Two trucks will depart as a convoy on Tuesday morning and return to Melbourne to collect the remaining beams to be delivered to site in Mount Gambier on Thursday.”

The long and oversized loads will measure 2.5 metres wide and 49 metres in length. Three certified pilots will be required to escort the loads through Victoria to South Australia.

The trucks will travel under police escort and will follow a pre-approved traffic management plan.

“To give you an idea of the spectacle to come as they make the trip from interstate, the timber beams are longer than the average wind turbine blade if you’ve ever seen them in transit,” Ms Cernovskis said.

The travel route from Port Melbourne to Olympic Park in Mount Gambier:

  • Kooringa Way, Port Melbourne,
  • Webb Dock Road,
  • West Gate Freeway,
  • Princes Freeway,
  • Hamilton Highway,
  • Lismore – Skipton Road,
  • Glenelg Highway,
  • Dunkeld – Cavendish Road,
  • Henty Highway,
  • Glenelg Highway,
  • Worrolong Road,
  • Riddoch Highway,
  • Bay Road,
  • Margaret Street, Mount Gambier.

“For safety reasons, we ask that people stay away from the building site compound as the timber beams arrive as it will be a slow and complex entry to site for the load-carrying vehicles,” Mr Wyatt said.

The beams will be stored in the vicinity of the 50 metre pool until they are ready to be installed.

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