THE focus of construction activity on the Split Rock Dam to Barraba pipeline project will shift to the base of the dam, after completion of pipe-laying along the 27.2km route.
Contractor Leed Constructions finished laying the 5.5m lengths of 225mm-diameter pipe in late July, at an average rate of 800m per day.
The pipeline route along Oakhampton Rd and The Fossickers Way takes in mostly road reserves and some privately owned land from Upper Manilla to Barraba.
Tamworth Regional Council Barraba pipeline engineer Neil Sharpham said the $19.66 million project, jointly funded by the council and the state and federal governments, was on budget and on track for its scheduled completion in the first quarter of 2014.
“Construction is about 60 per cent complete,” he said.
“The works are proceeding very well. Council is enjoying an excellent relationship with our contractor, Leed, and is very pleased with the quality of their work.”
Confirmation testing, which involves filling the pipeline with water and building it up to maximum pressure to ensure it is fit for the purpose, had started and should be finalised by mid-September, Mr Sharpham said.
Work is expected to intensify in the coming months as the construction of the pump station at the base of the dam continues and associated work on a high-voltage power upgrade is undertaken.
Work on the Split Rock Dam pump station started during the second week of August, when the initial concrete pour took place.
PJ Truman Constructions of Tamworth has been subcontracted to build the pump station and will start on-site this week. The raw-water pumping station will connect to the existing Split Rock Dam outlet and include duty and back-up high-pressure pumps capable of shifting up to four megalitres of water daily from the dam via the pipeline to the Barraba Water Treatment Plant in Range St.
Tamworth-based Curry Power will carry out the high-voltage power upgrade necessary for the pump station.
“This electrical work will take around three to four weeks and includes two kilometres of poles and high-voltage cables to provide sufficient power for the operation of the pump station,” Mr Sharpham said.