Contractor Innovations

Solving it with containers

Solving it with containers - Contractor Mag - Oct 2017 - Featured Image

A lot of the innovative work has gone into replacing Queenstown’s iconic Kawarau Falls Bridge with a two-lane bridge including the use of containers.

THE NEW 250-METRE long link will be located just downstream from the old one-lane bridge, which is perhaps best known as the country’s first bungy jumping destination.

The challenges for contractors have been many as they work on a busy route and over a river running 43 metres below. One solution was shipping containers.

Mark De La Rosa, project administrator at McConnell Dowell, says building a bridge is never an easy task, even in ideal conditions, and the Kawarau project has thrown up everything from extreme weather through to challenges around working on either side of a very wide river.

“The site is unique because while it is tight on either river bank, you also have to manage the expanse of the site across the river.

“Royal Wolf’s range of shipping containers were the ideal solution because they are highly portable, very durable – to cope with the extreme weather conditions, and they come in a range of sizes to suit specific needs.”

The Kawarau Bridge project site is made up of two 20-foot lunchroom containers, an ablutions block, three mini cube containers for storing tools – which are less than half the size of a traditional 20-foot container, and an eight-foot dangerous goods container.

“The site has come with many unforeseen obstacles but with everything housed inside containers, including our guys’ lunchroom through to our tool supplies, it means the onsite crane can move equipment from one side of the river to the other very easily.

“They’re strong and weatherproof too, but for big steel boxes they are also incredibly versatile and mobile and can be stacked if needed, which helps ease pressure on a tight site,” says Mark.

Paul Creighton, Royal Wolf executive general manager NZ, says the Kawarau Bridge project proves how adaptable containers can be and how they can be modified to meet a specific need.

“The beauty of containers is that they can be used for everything from simple and reliable storage solutions through to modified and bespoke containers that take the shape of everything from toilet facilities to meeting rooms.

“With the ongoing activity in the construction industry, containers are becoming more and more prominent on streets and around construction sites. They are one of the easiest and most practical solutions for managing safety on these sites and they’re ideal for keeping both the public and workers safe,” says Paul.

This article first appeared in Contractor October 2017.

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