The Waterfall track leading to the Dog Stream Falls is one of Hanmer’s busiest walking tracks. The track had some steep rocky sections making the track challenging for some track users and dangerous during the winter months or during high use periods.
HGM were contracted to complete an upgrade of the track which included:
- Breaking out of rock in sections to widen the track and ease the grade.
- Installation and backfilling of 5 sets of timber stringer steps
- Surface improvements and maintenance on watercourses
- Minor track realignments
Access was a key challenge as the track is in a conservation area and due to the gradient of the track in sections, it was not accessible to mobile plant from the bottom. The solution to this was to use a helicopter to fly a 0.8t excavator to the upper section of the track where the work was being carried out along with multiple site boxes, air compressors to run pneumatic tooling and all other equipment and materials required. Staff walked up the track to site each day and carried any additional tools or materials required in backpacks. Instead of flying in gravel, rock removed on site was repurposed to backfill steps to provide improvements to the track surface.
Timeframe was another challenge. For safety reasons, the track had to be closed to the public while work was being carried out. Due to the popularity of the track, work had to be completed within a short timeframe to minimise the period it was closed. HGM used 3 teams to work simultaneously on different sections of the track to ensure this could be achieved.
DOC were happy with the outcome of the project and received positive feedback from track users. HGM have since been engaged to carry out further work in the area including a bridge replacement.