A small piece of Melbourne's history will begin disappearing in the days and weeks to come as Melbourne Airport's water tower continues to be engulfed by scaffolding and mesh in preparation for demolition.
A pronounced structure viewed by hundreds of millions of travellers yet never at the forefront of anyone's thoughts, the tower has stood the test of time since it began appearing on the horizon during 1969 as evidenced by the Melbourne Airport image below. More recently the water tower became far more recognisable, gaining a lick of paint to closely resemble a Tiger Airways aircraft livery.
According to Melbourne Airport, demolition will consist of "A series of innovative cutting and propping techniques, regarded by engineering specialists as the safest procedure for a demolition of this scale." In what will most likely resemble the demolition of the Lonsdale Street Power Station chimney some years ago, large horizontal rings will be cut with a diamond tipped cable mechanism and then repositioned by mobile crane to terra firma for recycling offsite.
The water tower is to make way for the new integrated ground transport hub with forms part of the larger precinct redevelopment of which Leighton Contractors is the chief builder. As seen below works have commenced well back from the terminal precinct for associated infrastructure such as elevated roadways and the like. Piling for the integrated ground transport hub and part of the terminal precinct are well advanced.
Visit Melbourne Airport's website here to see a collection of images dating back to the early 1960's. Further construction images of current works are provided in the link below.