While yesterday brought rainbows, today brought rainfall and lots of it. If there was ever going to be a test of our team’s ability to get the job done, today was going to be it. And among the project team there was a tension we had not seen since the tender deadline on Friday, because on-site wet weather makes everything far more difficult, from controlling traffic to moving loads, from keeping focussed in the cold and wet to simply communicating, the wet poses challenges and usually leads to delays.
But clad in their wet weather protection gear, it is safe to say that a little Queensland deluge wasn’t going to dampen their spirits or hold them back. Today was going to be a big day of assembly, lifting, traffic management and more as the team aimed to complete and place two of the bridge’s major sections.
As with any novice team, it took a little while to build confidence and to really get things going.
Constructionarium’s Chris Stanley made some astute observations based on his history with Constructionarium Australia and vast industry experience “It has been fascinating to watch an all-female team in action. Every task is far more democratic and consensus-driven, and the team takes every decision seriously and ensures agreement before carrying out a task. At first glance, it seems to be a slow way of working, but in reality, it is far quicker as there are far fewer errors and remedial works required – an interesting difference to male-dominated groups where they like to charge ahead and deal with any issues that occur after they have occurred.”
As the morning progressed, under the watchful eye and expertise of dogman Kingy and crane operator Squeezy the team successful assembled one bridge section. It was slow going, but it was done right first time and without error or at any time compromising safety in difficult conditions.
At lunchtime, the team held a toolbox on working with power tools and how to ensure that at all times safety came first, especially when working in challenging conditions. Following the toolbox, we were delighted to welcome Penny Cornah, Queensland Vice President of partners NAWIC who gave an inspiring talk about her industry association, career and the benefits of being part of a membership organisation. With a number of the cohort actively involved in NAWIC, it was great to hear about how events, networks, training and mentoring all helped to advance the careers of women in engineering and construction, a purpose aligned with this particular Constructionarium Australia build.
We also welcomed to site Bill Lansbury, General Manager, and Chris Lunson, Executive Director from RoadTek who paid a visit to see how the build was progressing and to check in with their colleagues from the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
In the afternoon, it was back to dodging the worst of the weather, but armed with a new level of experience the pace changed dramatically. In no time at all, the second bridge section was assembled, and by the end of the day, two sections of the bridge had been completed and lifted into place.
Project Manager, Amandine Daniel, paid tribute to the team’s efforts “It was tough out there today. The weather was unpleasant, and the rain made the site challenging to work on, but the team all pitched in and started to work well together. By lunchtime, I was nervous that the bridge opening on Friday was going to be in jeopardy, but by the end of the day, they had got back on schedule and were operating fantastically well together. Come rain or shine I have every confidence that the team will have the bridge ready for opening on Friday at 11:30.