Queensland Urban Utilities is committed to excellence in water and sewerage services that meet the evolving needs of our customers and enhance our communities. As part of this commitment, we are constructing a cross-river water pipeline from Murarrie to Pinkenba, which will connect two water supply zones - the Bartleys Hill reservoir in Ascot and the Wellers Hill reservoir in Murarrie.

Project update - August 2017

Construction of the $20M Murarrie-Pinkenba Cross River Water Pipeline is well underway with over 1600 metres of open trench pipe installation complete so far. We will shortly start constructing the pipeline under the Brisbane River using horizontal directional drilling.

Once finished, the project will help cater for future demand and ensure security of water supply to Pinkenba, Eagle Farm and Murarrie. It will also make the provision of water supply more flexible and minimise customer impacts in the event of a water outage, for example, during extreme weather.


  • Open trench installation of about 1060 metres of new water pipeline along Holt Street is now complete.
  • We are currently installing valve chambers on Kingsford Smith Drive that will enable water flow control for maintenance and supply purposes.


  • Open trench construction of about 600 metres of new water pipeline along Queensport Road North is now complete.
  • Auger boring (drilling) to install the water pipe under the stormwater culverts on Queensport Road North is complete.

Valve chamber construction on Kingsford Smith Drive

Image: Valve chambers are being constructed on Kingsford Smith Drive near the corner of Holt Street, Pinkenba

Project look-ahead


  • Installing the water pipe over stormwater culverts on Holt Street using open trenching.
  • Establishing a horizontal directional drill rig launch site at the river end of Holt Street.
  • Road resurfacing of construction damaged areas will be complete once the pipe has been tested and all work along Holt Street is complete.


  • Installing a horizontal directional drill rig at the Queensport Road  construction site.
  • Connecting the new water pipeline to the existing network in the Transurban land at the northern end of Queensport Road North. You will receive further information about this work prior to construction.  
  • Following the completion of the river crossing, a permanent switchboard and transformer will be installed and secured at the current construction site. You will receive further information about this work prior to construction.
  • Road resurfacing of construction damaged areas will be complete once the pipe has been tested and all work along Queensport Road North is complete.

River crossing

Drilling under the Brisbane River is scheduled to start in early-August 2017 and will take about three months to complete. Work hours for site set up will be Monday to Friday from 6.30am to 6.30pm. Once the drill rigs are set up, drilling will be done 24/7 until the 1.1km river crossing is complete.

Stage 1

HDD Pilot hole

Starting at the entry point off Paringa Road, Murarrie, the pilot hole will be drilled along the alignment using a GPS directional guidance system to navigate the drill head position. It will bore 10 metres below the riverbed until it reaches the southern bank and then rises to the exit point in Pinkenba. Stage one is expected to start in early-August 2017 and take about one week to complete, weather and ground conditions permitting.

Stage 2

HDD tunnel reaming

A 250 tonne rig will be based on the Pinkenba side of the river and  used to systematically enlarge the pilot hole. Multiple reams will be carried out until the diameter is large enough to install the 800mm trunk water main. Stage two is expected to take about five to six weeks, weather and ground conditions permitting.

Stage 3

HDD pipe pullback

The drilled hole will be cleaned and prepared for the pipeline installation. The high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe will be laid out in a single ‘string’ along the rail siding at Murarrie and placed on rollers. The pipe is then pulled back towards the entry point in Pinkenba until the pipeline is installed.


The above video shows the pipe pullback stage of horizontal directional drilling on one of our Scenic Rim projects. This same method will be used to pull the pipe through the tunnel under the Brisbane River.       

What can you expect?

  • A 250 tonne drill rig and equipment will be set up on the grassed area at the river end of Holt Street, Pinkenba.
  • A 100 tonne drill rig and equipment will be set up at the existing construction site between Paringa Road and Queensport Road North, Murarrie.
  • Noise from the 24/7 operation of the drill rigs.
  • Removal of spoil using trucks and associated dust

How will construction impacts be managed?

We will work closely with businesses impacted by construction to address any concerns during the project, in addition to:

  • monitoring noise levels to ensure work methods are appropriate
  • using approved traffic management to ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians
  • dust will be managed at source using water suppression as required.

Our commitment

The project team is committed to minimising the construction impacts on our customers. Once construction starts, we will keep the community informed and provide regular updates to directly impacted customers. We will also work closely with our contractor to ensure every effort is made to keep disturbances to a minimum.

Find our more

For further information about the project, email community.feedback@urbanutilities.com.au or call 3855 6730 during business hours.

  • The additional infrastructure will allow us to move water between two supply zones and ensure reliable and sustainable delivery of water services for Eagle Farm, Pinkenba and Murarrie, making supply more flexible and efficient.
  • It will support demand from a growing population in the North Shore Hamilton Urban Development Area.
  • It will also provide contingency water supply in the event of an unplanned disruption or planned maintenance in one of the water supply zones.
Pipeline length
  • 3 kilometers
Project timeframe
  • Approximately 2 years, work commences early-January 2017
Construction methodology
  • Trenchless technology to construct the pipeline beneath the river using Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD)
  • Open trenching to install the new mains along the roadside on either side of the river
Capital investment
  • $20 million
More information


 The Murarrie-Pinkenba Cross River Water Pipeline is now under construction with open trenching in Holt Street, Pinkenba mostly complete.

Open trenching has started on Holt Street Pinkenba

Open trenching along Holt Street, Pinkenba.

Some of the water pipes laid out ready for installation 

Some of the steel lined pipes lined with concrete ready for installation. The pipes are made in Australia.