World Demolition Summit Finalists 2021

DEMEX is shining in the award spotlight again with the recent announcement the company has been shortlisted at the World Demolition Awards for a second year running. In this year’s awards, we have been selected in the category Contract of the Year under US$1 million dollars off the back of our efforts on the Chinaman Creek Bridge demolition.

When it came time to choose an entry for this year’s awards, it was an easy decision. What the Chinaman Creek Bridge demolition may have lacked in size relative to other projects, it made up for in complexity. Located in tropical North Queensland, the project appeared to be an unassuming bridge demolition project. However, once underway, the project presented multiple unique and demanding challenges that were overcome by DEMEX’S expert project team, with environmental conditions, saltwater crocodiles, and structural degradation among them.

A project with everything: Floating blankets, crocodiles, and low waste outcomes

The project location in proximity to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park imposed strict environmental conditions on project delivery. Our ongoing commitment to meeting or exceeding environmental regulations led our team, in collaboration with our suppliers, to devise an innovative solution to eliminate slurry and debris impacting the waterway and local environment by installing two custom designed ‘floating blankets’. The floating blankets were deployed for the duration of the project and successfully eliminated all environmental impacts to the waterway and mangroves.

Another element of the local environment was the ominous presence of deadly saltwater crocodiles within the work area. Their presence was magnified when workers were required to enter the water to administer underwater saw cuts to remove the piles at riverbed level. This process was controlled by the installation of a custom designed and fabricated crocodile enclosure which was built to withstand the force of a crocodile jaw and provided a safe working environment for our team.

The project team’s experience proved critical with the discovery of significant structural degradation as a result of a condition called Alkali Silica Reaction. This discovery required a complete re-evaluation of our approach to the project. We made substantial changes because of the risk of complete or partial concrete break up/collapse during the crane lift operations would have resulted in a catastrophic environmental and safety incident. Key changes included use of increased crane sizes, revised crane positioning, increased number of saw cuts, and removing the headstock and piles in smaller sections. Use of 250T and 200T mobile cranes to conduct dual lifts of the 20 metre prestressed concrete bridge deck units during night works minimised the impact on the live highway, which was just two metres from project’s location.

Waste removal is always a factor on demolition projects and we continue to drive down waste outcomes on every project. Chinaman’s Creek bridge demolition was no different. Demolition waste was mechanically processed onsite, a task which included capturing and containing polystyrene cores from bridge pylons. Based on the effective waste management strategies adopted, 97% of demolition waste was recycled or repurposed; an outstanding result by any standard.


Our team: Growing through excellence

Supporting our clients to achieve their objectives, and doing so safely and on time continues to drive our performance on project delivery. Here’s what the client Georgiou Koppens Joint Venture (GKJV) had to say about DEMEX work on the project:

Despite a number of challenges that faced the project, the Demex team safely completed the bridge demolition works without incident. Throughout the project, Demex were professional, responsive and had the expertise to implement innovative solutions to overcome the challenges this project presented.

Despite the high-risk nature of the project, the project was completed to the highest safety standard within the required timeframe. GKJV was extremely satisfied with the outcomes of the project and the performance of the Demex project team.

Whether or not DEMEX is successful in winning this year’s award, we are proud of our team who continue to step up to the challenges posed by projects like Chinaman’s Creek Bridge and we look forward to sharing an update when award winners are announced in October.”