I get to the Metro Tunnel Arden Station site between 6:00 & 6:20 AM. After a much-loved morning coffee, I usually spend this time before the office gets busy to iron out any outstanding details for the planned construction ROCB (Rigid Overhead Conductor Beam) works for the day as well as any material delivery coordination. Our team is responsible for the construction of the overhead wiring system that will be running the new HCMT trains in the future metro twin tunnels. Today, I used this time to ensure all the quality checklists for the completed steel install works of the week prior have been completed & uploaded into the SharePoint system. Before the daily Pre-Start meeting at 7:00 AM, I catch up with the supervisor of the works and go over the team’s daily target and any potential interface the crews can expect over their shift.
As the crews take some time to mobilize their plant into the tunnel, I took this time to calculate the monthly cost associated with the construction works I am responsible as it is near the end of the month. This task comprises of reviewing a cost ledger which is a document entailing the monthly expenses & accumulated cost that the project has paid, split up into different cost-codes for each discipline/construction activity. In addition to reviewing the ledger, each cost-code ‘owner’ will have to accurately accrue (i.e. account for/charge) any additional expenses which have been spent during this month but have not been invoiced yet. This can include the cost of hired plant, labour, & any materials such as tooling required for the completion of the works. Once this was finished, the team and I had a meeting for a quick rundown on the findings.
Most of my day from then on comprised of tracking the productivity of the steel install crews. Currently, we have two steel install crews working from electric scissor platforms and installing steel sections (Drop Verticals, as we call them) at their allocated locations on the roof of the tunnel rings. My role is to clearly define any design clarifications to the crew as well as ensure that the correct steel sections with the correct lengths/dimensions are installed at the appropriate locations. In the tunnel section we‘ve targeted today – the west tunnel between the Western Portal & Arden Station, there was a total of 139 drop verticals. As the crews plot along, I complete a quality install checklist for each steel piece. The checklist comprises of multiple material compliancy checks such as the galvanising/weld work on the steel section itself, the fastening arrangement installed (washers/nuts), and more.
After a productive shift, I come back to the office to de-brief my manager on the crew’s progress. We have a discussion on any hurdles/potential issues that rose and the programmed plan for the next day. As the crews need to operate around different disciplines during their shift, this may delay their progress and hence delay the overall planned program. So, in order to manage this, we must re-strategize almost daily to ensure our crews retain a continuous flow of work to maximise productivity. During this session, we examined the next section of tunnel to target and how this could affect our future construction activities such as other overhead line equipment install, ROCB install, and the final conductor wire install.
After our program planning session, I crack on with material procurement and set estimate delivery dates in coordination with the steel fabricators. In addition to ensuring the materials will be meeting the required specifications, this process involves having complete an accurate take-off of the quantities/types of steel sections and correlating what the next batch of steel needs to include and what has already been delivered to site, while meeting the contractor’s agreement with the project. I then reviewed a bunch of shop drawings of different steel pieces from the manufacturer and sent back a few comments for them to have revised. This entailed reviewing dimensions, lengths, size of holes, steel material & grade in detail to meet design criteria.
Today, I also got the chance to gain some traction on a small, exciting project that the team is creating. It is a ROCB-specialised handbook pocket guide that is designed for our lineworkers and overall workforce which will entail practical knowledge such as installation methodologies as well as quality & engineering requirements. Given that the ROCB system is Melbourne’s first, we believe that it is essential to provide and share the correct tools to train our overhead lineworkers. We plan we have a draft up and ready for a peer-review by the end of next week.
For the remainder of the day, I tick off my usual end of day tasks which include updating my daily shift cost with any dockets received from our labour workforce and have a Pre-Start Meeting sheet printed out and ready for the next day!