Case study: Tunnelling operations dust control


Cross River Rail (CRR) is Queensland’s largest public transport project. The $5.4 billion project is set to deliver four new underground stations and upgrades to eight above-ground stations. The project also includes the development of three new Gold Coast stations.

It is anticipated that when opened for services in 2025, the new railway and four new underground stations will dramatically improve connectivity to the southern part of the CBD, preparing the way for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The issues

  • Management of dust in the tunnelling and stockpiling component of the works for CRR’s tunnel, stations and development (TSD) package.
  • Management of dust generated during the spoil removal process when the material was conveyed from the tunnel boring machine (TBM) work area underground to the surface.
  • Spraying of water for dust was not working as the material was found to be hydrophobic (water repellant).
  • Worker and community health and safety issues due to excessive dust.
  • Delays in critical tunnelling activities due to excessive dust levels.

The solution

As our client was pressured by the local government and communities to reduce the amount of dust generated and prevent the wastage of water, they decided to transition towards a more sustainable, environmental, and economical solution for managing and controlling dust in tunnels.

After several site inspections and preliminary trialling, GRT’s senior engineers assisted in the development and implementation of a practical dust management strategy, drawing on the company’s underground mining experience.

Dust generated from the material handling component of the project was practically eliminated at the material source.

To learn more about the results of this project, click here.

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