Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Open Day at Cotter Dam

For the past 5 years a monumental new dam has been under construction just outside of Canberra which will provide the city with water.

As with many civil engineering projects the project went way over cost - costing a whopping $417m (it was budgetted at $363m) and along the way there have been floods and bad weather which have affected construction.

Nevertheless one of Canberra's wonders is now nearing completion and held an open day for the general public to walk along it. It was billed as a 'Once in a lifetime opportunity'. Audrey, Eli and I took a trip up there (spotting Emus along the way) and enjoyed looking at where Canberra's water is going to be kept.

Our guide on the bus had worked on the dam since 2007 - a lot of the project had involved Americans (they've got a number of similar dams in the US) and Irish workers (up to 3,000 at a time apparently!)

It was made of VC Concrete (the Americans term it 'very cheap' concrete) and because of the type of concrete it is it had to be poured on top of the last section (and not allowed to dry). Pouring took place 24 hours a day for 18 months. That's a lot of concrete!

It may not have the elegant charm of Sydney Opera House nor the majesty and history of the MCG but it's ours!

The beautiful Cotter River

Audrey pleased to find that the dam builders also dress in pink

On top of the dam

Eli with the viewing platform in the background

Audrey with the top of the dam behind her

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