Brisbane City Council

McLachlan and James Street Intersection Stormwater Upgrade


Stormwater infrastructure



Year Of Project Completion:




Improving Flood Resilience for Brisbane’s CBD

The Brisbane City Council‘s McLachlan and James Street intersection stormwater upgrade project helps to mitigate the impact of flooding on communities and businesses, particularly in a critical commercial area.

Project Overview

Diona successfully executed this complex, high-risk construction project at one of Brisbane CBD’s busiest intersections. Despite the constant flow of traffic and the area’s popularity as a retail and dining hub, the project was managed with precision and efficiency.

Project Need

The Teneriffe, Newstead, and New Farm areas, housing over 20,000 residents, have a notable history of flooding during significant events in 1893, 1974, and 2011. The primary drainage network was constructed in the 1900s before the Great Depression when the city’s population was just over 100,000. Due to the age of the system, the Brisbane City Council initiated an upgrade which involved constructing a new stormwater drainage chamber over the existing brick drain at the intersection of McLachlan Street and James Street. Additionally, sections of the current drain were lined with concrete to prolong its lifespan. (Source: Brisbane Times)

Project Solution

Diona took on the task of surveying, repairing, and shotcreting the two century-old brick stormwater channels beneath James Street. This included relocating an Urban Utilities 324OD MSCL water main, constructing an 18-meter cast in situ stormwater receival pit, and installing a 43-meter-long reinforced box culvert drain.

Throughout the project, Diona adeptly managed various risks, including traffic and pedestrian management, deep excavation, temporary works design, confined space entry, and working in tidal areas.

Value Add | Benefit
Reduced Community Impact

The project aimed to minimise community disruption through careful scheduling, proactive notifications, noise control, and dust suppression.

Innovative Construction Solutions

Diona implemented innovative methods to mitigate risks and adhere to project timelines, such as 3D utility mapping, integrating in-situ structures with existing infrastructure, and strategic scheduling of concrete pours and shutdowns.

Environment and Heritage Protection

The project addressed significant environmental and heritage concerns, with infrastructure dating back over 100 years and the stormwater outlet leading directly into the Brisbane River. Measures included careful identification and monitoring of potential archaeological artifacts, along with proactive steps to protect waterways such as sediment control and inlet filtration, installation of bespoke flow control gates, regular groundwater testing and treatment and scheduling works around low tide times. These efforts led to zero notifiable environmental incidents.

Safe, On-time Delivery

Achieving zero LTIs or MTIs, Diona demonstrated a strong commitment to safety. Leveraging team expertise, the project was completed on schedule and under budget, allowing the retail precinct to reopen before the 2019 Christmas period.

ESG Alignment

Effective stormwater management is essential for flood prevention. By upgrading the stormwater infrastructure, the project helps to mitigate the risk of flooding, which can cause significant environmental damage and disrupt ecosystems.

The construction of a stormwater receival chamber and the repair and upgrade of century-old stormwater tunnels contribute to managing and improving water quality and sanitation systems. This is essential in urban settings for effective water management and flood prevention.

The project showcases innovative solutions and technical expertise in urban infrastructure. Key innovations like 3D utility mapping and integration of in situ structures with existing underground structures demonstrate advancements in sustainable infrastructure development.

Enhancing flood management in a busy urban area contributes to creating more sustainable and resilient cities. By managing stormwater effectively, this project helps to reduce the impact of flooding on communities and businesses, particularly in a critical commercial area.

Upgrading stormwater infrastructure is crucial in adapting to climate change, especially in urban areas prone to flooding. This project contributes to making the city more resilient to climate-related hazards and natural disasters.

The collaboration between Diona, Brisbane City Council, and other stakeholders illustrates the importance of partnerships in achieving complex infrastructure projects that serve public needs.