Rock fall barrier wins engineering award

Cairns Regional Council's custom-built Barron Gorge Road rock fall protection barrier has been recognised for its excellence at the 2013 Queensland Engineering Excellence Award.

The project was awarded winner of the $1 million to $5 million public works projects category at this year's Institute of Public Works Engineering Qld Division (IPWEAQ) Excellence Awards.

About the project

The Barron Gorge Road rock fall protection barrier was constructed to provide safer, long-term access to the renowned Barron Gorge in Cairns. The Barron Falls and Gorge is located within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area national park and is an important site for tourism and recreation activities. The road also provides the only access to the Stanwell hydro-power station.

The barrier was installed near a steep rocky slope where poor soil and rock stability had led to periodic rock falls. Due to challenging site constraints, Council designed the purpose-built rock fall structure to deflect and capture rocks against the steep slope. 

A first of its kind for the Far North region, the barrier is about 90m long and consists of 28 precast concrete and steel vertical columns anchored to the rock face with a further 81 smaller concrete panels forming the roof. The structure is orientated in such a way that rock falls are deflected away from the gorge to minimise risk to the waterway's users.

About the IPWEAQ Excellence Awards

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Qld Division (IPWEAQ) Excellence Awards give recognition for outstanding achievements to engineers and other practitioners working in the local government and public works industries and to their Councils and organisations. They encourage excellence in the innovation, development, completion and management of local government and public works projects.

Last updated: 05 February 2015