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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 6

I Construction During The Settlement Years

II The Use Of Timber As A Structural Material

III Structural Steel

IV Concrete Technology

V Housing

VI Industrialised Pre-cast Concrete Housing

VII Ports And Harbours
i Containerisation
ii Mineral Ports
iii Oil and Gas Ports
iv Other Bulk Cargoes
v Dredging

VIII Roads

IX Heavy Foundations

X Bridges

XI Sewerage

XII Water Engineering

XIII Railways

XIV Major Buildings

XV Airports

XVI Thermal Power Stations

XVII Materials Handling

XVIII Oil Industry

XIX The Snowy Mountains Scheme

XX The Sydney Opera House

XXI The Sydney Harbour Bridge

XXII Hamersley Iron

XXIII North West Shelf

Sources and References


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Because many of Australia's major ports were originally established in river estuaries, both initial deepening and maintenance dredging has been necessary since the early 1800s. At Adelaide the Port Adelaide River bar was initially deepened in 1839; dredging of the Hunter River, Newcastle, commenced in 1859, and the Brisbane River ship channel was initially dredged in 1862. Further, since that time almost every other major port in Australia has found it necessary to deepen navigation channels to accommodate the increased size of shipping.

In recent times the two most complex dredging projects have been the deepening and widening of the entrance channels to Port Hedland and Newcastle. At Port Hedland dredging of the harbour and approach channel commenced initially in 1965 and up to 1976 some 22.8 million cubic metres of material had been removed. In 1983 a further contract was awarded for the dredging of 12.8 million cubic metres of sand and rock and this will further deepen and widen the channel as well as extending it some 21 km out to sea.

In 1983 Newcastle Harbour was deepened to 15.3 metres with the removal of 2 million cubic metres of hard rock and 10 million cubic metres of sand and clay. This contract commenced in 1977 and necessitated, in addition to the use of large dredging plant, two self-elevating platforms for drilling and blasting of the hard rock bar at the entrance to the harbour. The need for the extensive use of explosives close to the City of Newcastle required the contractor to develop special blasting techniques for this project.

People in Bright Sparcs - Wallace, J. M.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 343, Online Edition 2000
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