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Home / Business / Cables under bridge spark new Canberra light rail construction fears

Cables under bridge spark new Canberra light rail construction fears



Sullivans Creek flows under the bridge. The bridge is about 2.97 meters high, but the deeper section of the trunking reduces the height of 75 centimeters.

According to ACT government flood maps, the Sullivans Creek area in question is classified as "high risk" – the most serious level.

  Two sets of cable ducts - enclosures used to protect electric cables - attached to the underside of a bridge on Flemington Road. The area between the two shows the regular height of the bridge.

Two sets of cable ducts – enclosures used to protect electric cables – attached to the underside of a bridge on Flemington Road. The area between the two shows the regular height of the bridge. Credit: Dion Georgopoulos

The depth of the floods in the area during a flood of one year out of 100 would be over 1.5 meters, according to the maps.

Sullivans Creek was flooded only in February 2018, with precipitation in parts of the basin above one in 500 years, according to an information document on flooding by the ACT government

Loading [19659002] Mick Koppie, officer of the ACT of Electrical Trades Union, said that if the flood water could not pass under the bridge because the trunking had lowered it in two areas, the water would be pushed onto the tracks of the light.

believed that even a small amount of flooding on the tracks could make trams unusable, the expert electrician replied: "Yes, I think he would."

"Any water that will flow and start running on the other side of the road will not be good" Mr Koppie said.

"Too much water is definitely a problem.

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" I think even 100 millimeters [of water built up on the tracks] would make it unusable. "

Construction company John Holland is responsible of design, construction, operations and maintenance as part of the Canberra Metro consortium that in 2016 obtained an ACT government contract to build and manage the first phase of the light rail project.

A spokesperson for Canberra Metro and Transport Canberra and City of the ACT government The Directorate of Services said that the questions presented by Sunday Canberra Times on cables under the bridge were detailed and technical.

He said they deserved an equally detailed and technical answer, which would not be possible by the deadline

The latest concerns about electric work on the light rail project arrive after the [CanadraTimes] revealed last weekend that electricians and their union representatives believe that the project may fail to receive the independent approvals necessary because the high voltage cables are installed too close to the surface.

Photographs of electrical conduits in a well near the intersection of Federal Highway and Flemington Road seem to show some cables installed a few millimeters below ground level.

  A well near the intersection of the Federal Highway and the Flemington Road in Canberra, where electric cables appear to be installed a few millimeters below ground level.

A well near the intersection of the Federal Highway and the Flemington Road in Canberra, where electrical cables appear to be installed a few millimeters below ground level. Credit: Sunday Canberra Times

This is despite the Australian standard that the ACT government expects to adopt for the light rail project that requires underground cables in publicly accessible areas to be buried at least 75 centimeters

Transportation Canberra and City Services have said that "the light rail project should" fully awaited to obtain certification compared to all relevant standards, before starting to take passengers at the start of this year .

Blake Foden is a journalist on Sunday Canberra Times. He worked as a journalist in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

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