Kelly’s Swamp Boardwalk

In June 2015 Makin Trax was recognised by the Master Builders by winning the Commercial Landscape Design and Construct category in the Master Builders and Cbus Excellence in Building Awards.

The project commenced in December 2013 when Makin Trax was invited to tender on the project at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands in Canberra.

Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve is one of the most valuable wetland habitat areas in the ACT, and of national and international importance. A refuge for migrating birds from the northern hemisphere and inland Australia, Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve is part of Canberra Nature Park, and is located on the Molonglo River floodplain only four kilometres from Canberra’s City centre.

In addition to submitting the supplied tender Makin Trax took the opportunity to submit an alternate tender that addressed some issues that we identified in the completion of the original design.  The simple nature of a swamp is that it is often submerged in water or is situated close to the water table. It became very apparent in the site inspection that digging footings and pouring concrete with in this area where the swamp is located was not feasible.  Machine movements in this area would also be severely restricted as bogging the machines would be inevitable.

Makin Trax formulated a plan to use a friction pile system called Surefoot as a replacement for the concrete footings and to fabricate the boardwalk section by section without the use of workshop drawings.  This allowed us to make micro changes as the project progressed without the need to alter all of the plans.

We also recommended against the use of a hot dipped galvanised finish in favour the raw steel finish which accumulates surface rust over time.  This is a feasible option as the Canberra climate doesn’t suffer from the corrosive effects that a coastal climate does.  This also prevented the risk of heavy metals leaching into the waterways from a galvanised coating.  Finally the bright reflections of a silver galvanised coating would risk scaring the birds from the area.

We began construction in the March 2014 and worked through the winter to complete the project.  At one point our worksite was shin deep in water but that didn’t delay the project.

The final result is one of excellence.  Makin Trax designed and constructed a piece of key infrastructure.

Download the Master Builders Winner Article