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A Dynamic Civilex Project Team

At Civilex, we pride ourselves on recruiting and developing the best people to work on some of Victoria’s diverse infrastructure projects. And this has certainly been the case with the Dynamic Signage project Civilex has recently completed on Terminal Drive at Melbourne Airport.

Civilex, engaged by APAM to deliver works at Melbourne Airport, recently completed the development, installation and commissioning of two variable message signs mounted on new gantry sites. The new signage will provide digital lane allocation along Terminal Drive, moving an average of 40,000 vehicles a day. Works included changing two existing static signs within the lower forecourt to dynamic signs – allowing sign changes during heavy traffic and/or incidents, removing existing signs and lane marking changes. We recently posted the lifting operations of the dynamic sign which you can read here.

View the entire Dynamic Signage project manufacture and installation journey on the video below.

Not only was this a large project, but Civilex also had a large team of engineering and site workers – as well as subcontractors – working together to successfully deliver the Dynamic Signage project for Melbourne Airport. We caught up with three of the Civilex team members involved in the Dynamic LED signage project.

• Rhys Hannan, Senior Project Engineer (Project Lead) – responsible for design management, client management and overall project delivery
• Holly Sanders, Project Engineer – responsible for traffic management, stakeholder engagement and subcontractor management
• Sanjay Sarup, Site Engineer – responsible for procurement, building permits and planning, programming and quality assurance.

Rhys Hannan Senior Project Engineer (Project Lead)

Civilex Senior Project Engineer Rhys Hannan was the Project Lead on the Dynamic Signage Project at Melbourne Airport and was accountable for leading the team and making decisions.

Making Decisions

As Project Lead Rhys was responsible for dealing with a range of complex issues. One involved working through the discovery of sub-surface chemical contaminants and managing associated worker protection, environment and treatment costs. Using innovative thinking and adopting cost-effective solutions Rhys and his Team resolved the issue, saved the client significant time and money, and kept the project moving forward.

A project of this magnitude, located in a busy airport environment – particularly during mornings and afternoons – has many restrictions. Namely the amount of work activities that can take place during peak periods. Works were staged to minimise any impact to public road users. Rhys says, “To safely lift and install our final gantry we had to shut down Terminal Drive overnight. This took months of client liaison, careful consideration and fine tuning to ensure our plan minimised stakeholder impact.”

Team Work and Collaboration

According to Rhys, “Our Team was fantastic – everyone played an important part. All credit to Construction Manager Jen Robertson who made sure we were properly resourced at all times.”

Although the Engineering team came up against a few challenges, the impact of these galvanized, rather than discourage the team. “General Supervisor Steve Moait led an awesome group of labourers who were already familiar with the airport environment, the challenges, and the environmental and safety requirements. Working on a project of this magnitude in an environment riddled with risk and hazard is difficult, but Steve and his crew delivered – with an impressive safety record too.”

Working Around the Clock

The coordination of rostering workers in and around the night shift lifts was naturally where every member of the team wanted to be. It was the time where the major lifts were being undertaken. “Having two major gantries lifted on different nights meant we could build the roster in a way that all our team members had an opportunity to see a major lift taking place.” An important aspect in coordinating the roster to ensure the whole team got to witness a major lift was the opportunity to learn and most importantly motivate the team by seeing all their hard work come to fruition.

Safety Around Lifting Operations

The Civilex OH&S team was engaged as early as possible on the Dynamic Signage Project and they highlighted three key high-risk activities: HV power isolations, piling works and lifting the structural elements into position.
Civilex OH&S team member Michael Roberts was an integral part of the entire project. “Mike offered endless advice and assistance. Dealing with 130-tonne cranes poses a number of problematic engineering questions such as: Will the road cave in under the pressure? What will happen to the underground services in the area? Will the client allow us to use a crane that tall so close to the airport?” Once assembled, the impressive 130-tonne crane took up the entire width of Terminal Drive.

Proud Moment

For a Project Lead, seeing a project of this scale – both in its planning and execution – brings a feeling of elation. For Rhys it was no different. “On the night of the final gantry lift everyone knew their role and what was expected of them. The countless meetings and workshops with stakeholders in the weeks leading up to what was coined the “lifting period” was done, and on the night as the gantry was being craned into position, I was able to stand back and reflect on what had been both a challenging and rewarding project. Knowing the hard work and late nights everyone had put in to make it happen was finally coming to fruition. It was an amazing feeling.”

Holly Sanders Project Engineer

Holly was a Project Engineer on the Dynamic Signage Project and assisted in the successful execution of the construction stage of the project at Melbourne Airport.

Project Team Resources

The new resources that Rhys mentions is highlighted again with Holly. “Sanjay was on the project from day one; Rhys started in January; Lee arrived at the beginning of June; and Jake and I joined the team just before the construction stage in mid-August.” Although they all joined the project at different stages, as a team they really came together during the construction phase when it was all hands-on deck and schedules were tight.

Ongoing Project Planning

The Dynamic Signage Project started late October 2017. The design phase commenced in January 2018 and continued through to August when final structural drawings were issued for construction (construction phase August to October). Holly says, “planning occurred throughout the entire project – even during the construction stage as we were still making changes to the plans for the lift dates.”

Big Project: Bigger Highlight

With plenty of anticipation leading up to the actual lifting of the gantries amongst the team, it was sure to be a moment many young, budding engineers longed to witness. For Holly the highlight was definitely lifting the gantries over Terminal Drive. “Actually, seeing the gantry truss being lifted into place, and the dynamic sign coming to life was a really big highlight!”

Sanjay Sarup Site Engineer

Sanjay was another Project Engineer on the Dynamic Signage Project and travelled over to Perth to see the dynamic digital sign being built and tested inside a Perth warehouse before being transported on a truck to Melbourne. The sign travelled a total of 3,470km before it was lifted into place by the Civilex team.

Dream Team

It seems the Civilex crew are all in agreeance about the great team dynamics they experienced on the Dynamic Signage Project with Sanjay reiterating a similar melody, “The team worked really well together through a multitude of complex issues, including the project’s high-profile location, embargo periods, high risk works, contaminated soils and limited working and shutdown periods.”

Planning for Success

The actual lifting works took months of planning until each of our stakeholders – both internal and external – were completely satisfied. The evidence in planning is demonstrated with zero incidents on any of the Civilex lifts, and shut down roads were reopened on-time every time. “Credit to the Civilex safety team – Michael Roberts and George Markelis – for their input. There were nine different lifts undertaken, each of which required individual risk assessments and months of detailed planning to ensure a safe and successful outcome.”

Final Night Highlight

The final (second) gantry lift was a little different to the first – not only was Terminal Drive closed but the Airport’s Forecourt area was also shut down. This dual road closure meant the gantry lift had to be executed more smoothly than the first as there was a reduced working window, and greater pressure to complete on time. “Along with the major shutdown and redirection of airport traffic, we had three cranes and over 40 team members on site while demolition and lifting works were being carried out in unison. Essentially, the whole project came to life a couple hours at the very end of the shutdown period when the screen powered on. Such a great feeling!”

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