Transurban Entities Allege Defects in Airport Link Tunnel Litigation

TWO Transurban related entities are suing Cimic Group, John Holland and Thiess in Queensland alleging defects that reduce the Airport Link Tunnel's "integrity and effectiveness".

Court documents state the drainage infrastructure defects will continue to impact the "overall integrity and effectiveness of the Fibre Reinforced Concrete (FRC) drainage system".

It is alleged this will impact the ability of the Airport Link Tunnel to remain open to the public, impair the functionality and use of the Tunnel, and reduce the value of the Tunnel.

The Claim also states that defects present in the Airport Link Tunnel relate to the passive fire protection system in particular, the use of a product called Fendolite (Fendolite System).

Fendolite is a fire retardant material applied to minimise damage to infrastructure assets in the event of a fire.

It is alleged no reinforcement or fixings were included in the Fendolite System, and without reinforcement, the likelihood of delamination failures increased thereby resulting in the tunnel not being fit for purpose without significant remedial action.

The Statement of Claim alleged the following defects;

  • FRC pipe couplers have cracked,
  • The couplers have cracked and the sides of the coupler have fallen off,
  • The FRC pipes have cracked,
  • Up to approximately half of the pipe sections are not sitting securely on the supports,
  • Corrosion in the pipe support base plates,
  • Fendolite has delaminated in hundreds of locations,
  • The Fendolite includes ultimately failed delamination,
  • Based on inspections carried out as at March 2018, the delamination appears to affect approximately 15-20% of the applied Fendolite that was inspected, and
  • Fendolite System is non-compliant with key fire-resistant requirements.

Delamination is when material fractures into layers.

The Claim details the contributing causes to the alleged drainage defects, including the design not adequately addressing the durability requirements of the Deed, lack of effectiveness of couplers, pipes not being properly levelled or supported, and a reduction in humidity levels through running fans in the invert.

This Queensland proceeding comes after it was revealed Transurban pursued legal action against Cimic Groups CPB Contractors in Victorian Courts. CPB Contractors stopped work due to concerns over PFAS contaminated soil.

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