Powering Sydney’s Future

From the outside this project seems pretty straightforward, but as you dig a little deeper (pun intended!) things start to get a lot more interesting and complex – so we thought we’d sit down with Greg Duffell from Turnbull Engineering to find out more about this multifaceted infrastructure project taking place in conjunction with the reputable teams at TransGrid, Taihan, Garde Services and Certus Projects.

What exactly is the Powering Sydney’s Future project and how are you involved?

TransGrid are providing new 20km electricity cables (330kv) to power Sydney into the future due to the increasing energy demands and the existing network deteriorating over time. The cables are underground and require two bridges in order to cross rail lines; the bridge designs are where we come into the picture.

What is so complex about this project?

Our scope is to design the two bridges. This is where it gets interesting for stakeholders and assets. On one of the sites we needed to identify and design around existing rail, new rail and new tunnels, high pressure gas mains, Westconnex retraining walls, Inner West Council stormwater culverts, TfNSW Cycleway, Ausgrid underbores, Sydney Water Sewers and Telstra cables.

How has Point Cloud data and the BIM model been used for this project?

Point Cloud data captures millions of points that can be viewed as a 3D model and is particularly useful for this project due to the complex interfaces between the bridge and the existing ground. Traditional survey would not provide the level of detail required.

The construction meetings have had fantastic feedback as the 3D model is easily viewed and cross-sectioned to provide feedback for the detail design.

When is it expected to be finished?

Construction has commenced and it will be completed by late 2022.

What motivates you as an engineer?

Problem solving and practical cost saving. I’m excited to get up in the morning and work with great people on challenging projects. I enjoy designing using construction inputs to provide a robust design for site (ie reverse engineering the design).

Powering Sydney’s Future