In 2016, Queensland Rail sought a solution from the McElligotts team to undertake the refurbishment of the Merivale rail bridge in Brisbane. The Merivale bridge was opened in 1978 and had not received any major remedial maintenance since then. Our primary role in this project was to strip, clean and apply protective coating to the bridge deck, cables, arches and other structural surfaces.
As the Merivale bridge serves as the only rail link between South and North Brisbane, it was essential that no services were disrupted. This project also included replacement of all rail sleepers and installation of a gantry, which meant we had to closely collaborate with other contractors on site to ensure everything went smoothly with no interruption to services. As a result, this project spanned two years.
The full schedule of works included:
- Application of a biodegradable degreasing solution to remove any grease, oil and other contaminants accrued over the years
- High pressure cleaning to remove all salt deposits and degreaser residue
- Cleaning of all corroded surface areas, removing any mill scale and flaking paint
- Mechanical abrasion of the remaining surface to remove loosely adhering coating, oxidation and all remaining contaminants
- Application of two-coat system
The bridge had extensive contaminant residue and corrosion, requiring plenty of attention before the surface was adequately clean to begin protective coating application. There was also the added hurdle of tight access space and short timeframes between rail services.