Fairbairn Dam Improvement Project

Fairbairn Dam Improvement Project

Fairbairn Dam, Central Queensland

Ensuring the long term viability of Fairbairn Dam to bring its infrastructure into line with current design standards.

The Project

The Fairbairn Dam Improvement Project commenced in 2016 after routine inspections detected inefficiencies in the original spillway drainage system.

The project will ensure the long term viability of the dam, established in 1972, by bringing its infrastructure into line with current design standards.

Stage one was completed in December 2016, with stage two commencing in April 2017 and stage three mid-2018.

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Birds eye view of the recently completed Stage 3 gravity sidewalls

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Righthand gravity sidewall

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Sunset over the newly constructed gravity sidewalls

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Drill rig being craned on to Ogee Crest drill platform

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Drilling passive anchor borehole from platform on Dentated Sill

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Installation of 11.5m passive anchor Dentated Sill

What’s involved?

Stage two will replicate work completed in stage one on the next section of the spillway including the:

  • modification of drain outlets
  • repair and replacement of blocked drains
  • replacement of steel anchors in the spillway with the installation of 1017 new passive anchors
  • filling of any voids under the concrete slabs of the spillway
  • construction of a mass reinforced concrete overlay to accommodate steel anchors
  • installation of 78 active (stressed) anchors along the spillway Ogee Crest.

Stage three involves the:

  • removal of original sidewall panels
  • foundation treatment and strengthening to facilitate construction of new gravity sidewalls
  • construction of new 10m high gravity sidewalls along the spillway to channel future outflows and relieve sidewall pressure.

Major milestones

  • Stage one works started in April 2016 and were completed in December 2016
  • Stage two works are scheduled for completion in late 2020, weather permitting
  • Stage three works construction was completed in December 2019, three months ahead of schedule.