After one year, nine months and sixteen days Basil Read have accomplished the task of filling Dry Gut at the Airport site on Prosperous Bay Plain.
Following the final truckload on Saturday 30 August the team had shifted over 7.6 million cubic metres of earth and rubble and created a platform which stretches almost 120 metres up into the air. Upon completion the trucks had travelled a combined distance of 1.2 million kilometres – the equivalent of three trips to the moon.
Community Liaison Officer, Jeremy Johns, said this was a “great achievement” and that morale remained high among the workers.
Public open days are scheduled to be held on 27 and 28 September. Production Manager, Deon Robertse, said he had moved forward the deadline from 8 September as he believed that one should never finish a job on a Monday, nonetheless the project was still completed a week ahead of time. In response to this he claimed to be ecstatic and said, if asked, he would be happy to go out and redo the entire task. However, he also highlighted that there was still a six-month waiting period in order to determine the settlement of the Dry Gut fill and that the top surface will not be smoothed until the settlement period is complete.
The airport project – which currently employs a total of 361 Saints – is now looking forward to the terminal building, expected to be complete in July 2015, which will be the development’s next major milestone.
Operations have been very smooth and Mr Robertse estimates that only about a week has been lost to bad weather. Equally, as of Tuesday the site had gone almost 700,000 man hours without injury which has kept disruptions to a minimum.
Jeremy Johns told the Sentinel that he had previously been sceptical as to whether the Dry Gut project would be completed in the allotted time, however the low number of lost man hours has greatly contributed to the achievement. When quizzed on whether he would be queuing for tickets to get on the first plane, Mr Johns admitted that he was still somewhat apprehensive of flying but seemed hopeful that he may be able to overcome his phobia.
||This report and more in The Sentinel for 4 September 2014