Built in 1978, Westgate Bridge is an iconic structure that’s played a huge part in moving Melbourne for decades. After thirty years of operation, Westgate Bridge had daily traffic of 160,000 vehicles, compared to the 40,000 it was carrying per day after opening. McElligotts was sub-contracted by John Holland Construction for abrasive blasting and other remedial works.
Roles we performed included removing and containing red lead paint, abrasive blasting of the internal and external structures and creating profiles for strengthening steel and carbon fibre to be attached. At the time, this was one of the largest projects in the world incorporating carbon fibre. We enjoyed working on this project and overcoming the challenges it faced, including traffic and fast turnover requirements. At the height of this project, McElligotts had 100 workers per day on-site.
Westgate Bridge 2019-2021:
In February 2019, we were proud to have again been contracted by VicRoads to work on the Westgate Bridge, this time as part of their painting refurbishment project. We are still currently working on this project and hope to have it completed by January 2021 in conjunction with the set deadline. The scope of work is somewhat similar to the original work we did on the bridge, only this time we are just focusing on restoring the painting and abrasive blasting rather than strengthening.
Our main task is to abrasive blast and paint 55,000 sqm of steel on the underside of the bridge, which included blasting the 9 platforms that are suspended 60m off the ground. In order to do this, the platforms are contained to a class 1 containment system and then abrasive blasted back to bare steel for inspection of the steel condition. In alignment with our sustainable values here at McElligotts, all waste material is vacuumed up and bagged at the bottom of the bridge. After this, the surface is then re-blasted and a 4-coat system is applied to the steel structure and signed off before the platforms can be traversed along the bridge.