Murray Irrigation winter works complete

By Rodney Woods

Murray Irrigation recently completed its most comprehensive winter works maintenance and construction program, which will extend the life of assets and defer their replacement and allow the organisation to better manage costs over the long-term while ensuring infrastructure is maintained for generations to come.

Murray Irrigation's infrastructure executive general manager Lachie Knight said the work had been completed during the irrigation off-season.

“This was a massive piece of work that entailed 55,000 labour hours to complete," he said.

"We engaged  40 primarily local contractors and together completed more than 5000 work orders and 450 bridge engineering assessments.

“These assessments helped us prioritise work and resulted in life-extending works on 217 bridges and emergency bridge repairs/major structural works on another 33 bridges."

Mr Knight said these works were the start of a larger asset management strategy that focused on three key areas: saving water by only draining one-third of the channel network each year; working with local contractors to complete the bulk of the work during the winter period when work could be completed most efficiently; and deferring asset replacement by investing in works that slowed asset degradation.

Winter works in numbers:

* No time lost due to injuries

* 55,000 labour hours

* 40 primarily local contractors

* 5000+ work orders

* 450 bridge engineering assessments

* 217 bridge life-extending works

* 33 bridge emergency repairs/major structural works

* 1450 regulators serviced

* 400km of channels de-silted and de-weeded.