Foamex M Grade Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) blocks were selected to provide an efficient fill solution during the execution of a major redevelopment project at the Port of Melbourne.

The $1.6 billion Port of Melbourne Port Capacity Project is redeveloping Webb Dock to be able to operate as an international container handling facility. The project scope included construction of new roads to Webb Dock Drive and Kooringa Way located below the West Gate Bridge. An important component of the road project involved the upgrade of the pipe works located beneath the road.

To protect the pipes from the stress of the weight of the traffic that would use these roads, it was decided to use a lightweight fill layered on top of the pipes. Foamex M Grade EPS blocks were used to layer to specific depths on top of the pipes, then wrapped and sealed before the road surface was constructed over the EPS blocks.

The inherent lightweight nature of the material and the quality were two important factors in the selection of Foamex EPS blocks. Foamex expanded polystyrene blocks have a range of advantages including durability, strength and flexibility, coupled with dimensional stability and low water absorption, making them an ideal, long term lightweight fill that would protect the pipes from additional loading.

Working in conjunction with BMD Construction who was awarded the $80-million plus contract to construct the first stage of the project, Foamex supplied over 1,000 EPS blocks for the fill.

Image: Foamex M Grade EPS blocks were used to layer to specific depths on top of the pipes