Controlled blasting explained

Safety first, every step of the way

Controlled blasting is a technique that is measured, monitored and analysed every step of the way to ensure it is conducted to the highest safety standards.

Explore the exact process, safety measures, and previous examples of the technique used successfully.

What happens before and after a blast?



The blasting sequence

How is dust managed?

Dust generation is reduced by multiple blast protection covers laid over the shaft before each blast. Blast mats are placed over the blast site to contain dust.

Blasted or spoil material from the controlled blast is tightly covered and removed by spoil trucks with minimal impact on air quality. 

See below to learn more about blast buffers.

How are
explosives managed?

A specially designed Explosives Transport Vehicle (ETV) is used for the safe transportation of inert explosives to the site.

The blast cycle

This excavation methodology will be repeated as a cycle until the shaft depth is reached for tunnelling to begin. While some rock breaking is involved in removing the softer top composition and levelling the shaft walls, 85% of the excavation is done by controlled blasting.

  • Drill down to reach blast distance and load explosives
  • Load buffer layers and blast mats
  • Blast access shaft
  • Excavate blasted shaft to remove material and trim walls (rock breaking)
  • Shotcrete walls for support and insert rockbolts where required
blast cycle

How is dust being managed?

Protection measures will be implemented to reduce dust. These multi-level covers will prevent flyrock and dust, as well as decrease noise, overpressure and vibration from the site spreading to the local community.
blast cover
Up to two metres of deep buffering material is placed on top of the blast lift. 'Blast mats’ made of thick, shock absorbing rubber are placed on the buffering material. Finally, a steel blast cover will close off the top of the shaft.

Controlled blasting is tried and tested

Controlled blasting in the urban environment is not new. Below is a list of projects that have successfully carried out controlled blasting under similar circumstances.
clem jones tunnel

Brisbane’s Clem Jones Tunnel

Opened: March 2010

Banora Point, Pacific Highway Upgrade

Banora Point, Pacific Highway Upgrade

Opened: September 2012

Tintenbar to Ewingsdale, Pacific Highway Upgrade

Tintenbar to Ewingsdale, Pacific Highway Upgrade

Expected completion: End of 2015

Get answers to some frequently asked questions.

next: get answers to faqs
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  • NSW Now - The new state of business
  • Transurban
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