Led by Touch Projects Senior Project Manager John Christou, the West Gate Bridge Repainting Project, overseen by the Department of Transport, involved the repainting of the steel deck of Melbourne’s iconic West Gate Bridge. With a project value of $66 million, the scope included repainting approximately 848 meters of steel sections divided into two areas, East and West.
The project required adherence to strict safety protocols due to the hazardous nature of the existing paint systems. John Christou oversaw the technical aspects of the project, ensuring compliance and obtaining necessary approvals. The repainting project aimed to improve the bridge’s structural integrity, aesthetics, and longevity, preserving this vital transport link for the community.
Led by Senior Project Manager John Christou, the West Gate Bridge Project involved the repainting of the steel deck of the iconic West Gate Bridge in Melbourne. With a project value of $66 million, the scope included painting approximately 848 meters of steel sections divided into two areas, East and West, between Pier 10 and Pier 15.
Access to the steel bridge was facilitated through an Alimak lift located at Pier 15, which transported personnel to the underside of the steel superstructure. Stairs, ladders, and suspended walkways provided further access into and underneath the bridge. The bridge’s steel section was primarily supported by cables running over two towers situated above Piers 12 and 13, which carried a significant portion of the bridge’s total dead weight.
The West Gate Bridge had two paint systems: an internal paint system and an external paint system. The internal paint system comprised red lead primer applied to all internal steel surfaces. Special approvals were required before conducting any work that may disturb the hazardous lead paint. The external paint system consisted of a zinc hot metal spray primer with multiple coats of chlorinated rubber, applied during the bridge’s construction in the 1970s. Similar to the internal system, special approvals were necessary for any works that could disturb the hazardous external paint.
The project involved repainting the steel bridge with a new four-coat system, replacing the existing paint. The new system consisted of a zinc-rich epoxy primer, high-build epoxy intermediate coats, and a topcoat of MIO polyurethane. These coatings provided enhanced protection and durability to the steel structure, ensuring its longevity and maintaining its aesthetic appeal.
As the Senior Project Manager, John Christou oversaw the technical aspects of the project, ensuring compliance with safety regulations and environmental considerations. Coordinating with various stakeholders, including engineers, inspectors, and approval authorities, John ensured that all necessary approvals were obtained before commencing works that could disturb the hazardous paint systems.
The West Gate Bridge Project not only aimed to improve the structural integrity and appearance of the bridge but also contributed to the preservation of this important transport link between Melbourne’s inner city and the western suburbs. John Christou’s expertise and project management skills were instrumental in the successful execution of this complex and vital project.
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