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 has been completed ensuring the long term viability of the dam by bringing its infrastructure into line with current design standards.

The project commenced in 2016 after routine inspections detected inefficiencies in the original spillway drainage system.

Stage one was completed in December 2016, Stage two in September 2020, and Stage three in December 2019.

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Fairbairn Dam

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Installation of 11.5m passive anchor Dentated Sill

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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

What was involved?

The project involved:

  • modification of drain outlets
  • repair and replacement of blocked drains
  • replacement of steel anchors in the spillway
  • 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 involved the:

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

The improvement project enhanced the spillway’s safety to enable continued reliable water supply for irrigation, industrial and urban use in Emerald.  

Major milestones

  • works completed in 2016
  • works were successfully completed under budget and three months ahead of schedule in September 2020.