2023 – Rookwood Weir Project: A Cyclical Approach to Monolith Design

Andrew Tindall, Nick Hamilton

The Rookwood Weir Project is a landmark water infrastructure project in Central Queensland aimed at enhancing water security, stimulating regional economic growth, generating employment opportunities, and supporting industry and agriculture.

The design challenges faced during the construction of the Rookwood Weir included cracking prevention and balancing construction and design requirements. The project team developed a three-dimensional FEA monolith model that calculated the monolith tensile stresses induced by concrete heat of hydration. This model guided the identification of key construction limitations such as lift heights, pour timing, monolith widths, and placement temperature thereby ensuring the structural integrity of the monolith throughout its design life.

The unconventional concrete mix design incorporated a higher percentage of fly ash, a waste product sourced from the Gladstone Power Station which reduced the cementitious content of th mix. The inclusion of larger aggregates and the management of concrete heat generation during hydration improved workability and overall performance.

The implementation of advanced construction techniques, including tippers, a telebelt conveyor system, and excavator-mounted gang vibrators, facilitated efficient concrete placement and compaction, resulting in increased productivity, and enhanced structural durability.

The lessons learned from the Rookwood Weir Project can be applied to future dam construction projects, providing guidance on concrete mix design, temperature control, and the use of FEA modelling and monitoring systems. The project represents a significant milestone in mass concrete design and construction, showcasing the importance of sustainable water management and innovative engineering solutions.

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