Brisbane Airport has completed the installation of 300,000 drainage wicks on the site of the new parallel runway.
The wicks, which were drilled 25 metres into the ground and spaced a metre apart, will help extract excess liquid out of the soil and allow for the consolidation of the ground before further work on the runway begins.
Brisbane Airport chief executive Julieanne Alroe said the work was completed three weeks ahead of schedule.
“We’re hugely proud of their efforts and excited that the last drainage wick has been installed because the sooner the wicks are placed in the ground the sooner the runway pavement construction can begin,” Alroe said in a statement on Thursday.
Alroe said that eight million cubic metres of sand has been placed on the new parallel runway site since dredging and reclamation work began in June 2014.
SoilWicks Australia managing director Greg Ryan said the runway work, which involved about 8,000km of drainage wicks, was the largest ever wick drain project in Australia.
“The 8,000,000 linear metres of wick drain used is longer than the distance from Brisbane to Beijing and is also longer than the distance to the centre of the earth,” Ryan said.
Brisbane Airport’s new parallel runway, to be located about 2km to the west of the existing 01/19 runway, was expected to open in 2020. There was a four-year ground settlement period to compress the soil and remove the water before construction of the pavements could begin.
The airport says the addition of an additional runway would give Brisbane the same capacity as Hong Kong and Singapore airports.