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Signs job still in progress

Saturday, 6th July, 2019

The winning welcome sign that will be placed at every entrance to Broken Hill. PICTURE: Broken Hill City Council The winning welcome sign that will be placed at every entrance to Broken Hill. PICTURE: Broken Hill City Council

By Myles Burt

Corten steel is off the table for the new Broken Hill welcome signs with local steel fabricators yet to be contacted about the job.

City Council announced on May 23 that fabrication of the signs would commence the following week, but Bolton’s Engineering, Advanced Profile Solutions and Nejaim Steel are still awaiting a response to their quotes, which they lodged at the request of City Council back in early April.

Steve Thompson from APS, which cut the welcome signs for Silverton and Milparinka, said they’re unaware if Council will decide to go with them. 

Mr Thompson said the job would most likely be awarded to Bolton Engineering or Nejaim Steel, who could fit the signs but would subcontract APS to cut them. 

“I haven’t been told whether that’s going to happen, or if whoever is going to do the erection is going to supply the sign as well from us,” Mr Thompson said.

“Advanced Profile is where we cut the signs like the Silverton and Milparinka ones that they’ve been banging on about it, we actually cut them here in Broken Hill.

“Hopefully we do the same with the Broken Hill signs, you’d like to think that they’d support a local company.”

Bolton Engineering and Nejaim Steel are still waiting to see if they will be awarded the welcome sign contract.

Both are capable of fitting the welcome signs and would have the signs made locally through APS. 

“We’re a mining town with 100-plus years of heavy fabrication, there isn’t anything that’s in the steel industry that cannot be made in this town,” Boltons Engineering’s Jamie Bolton said.

The final designs have been sent off to City Council, according to Melbourne-based Artist and welcome sign design winner Joe Scerri, who is also unaware of who will be building the signs.

Mr Scerri has supplied City Council with a couple of engineering quotes but said they’ve pretty much done all the administration.

Mr Scerri said he had been in talks with City Council about the signs. 

Council helped him come up with the idea of using the Pinnacles as a sign feature, due to Mr Scerri being unable to contact any local aboriginal artists in Broken Hill.

“All my contacts just came to dead ends or others we found were not well, which is really unfortunate,” Mr Scerri said.

“So the second option that we went with was I was to speak with an artist through someone in the Council in Broken Hill, to recommend what would be the most ideal.

“It ended up being that I was going to illustrate the Pinnacles.

“I got their (Council) guidance as to how I was going to go ahead with it, so I did that and I got the sign off.”

Materials have had to be changed for the sign due to design complications, according to Mr Scerri. 

The welcome signs will now be made using mild steel instead of corten steel.

“Otherwise, with the corten steel, we would’ve had to patch it up in six different parts and seven being the smaller sign,” Mr Scerri said.

“It was really going to take away from the effect of the width of the sheet and it might’ve had erosion problems or structural problems later on.

“So we decided to go for one full sheet and that was in mild steel, which is to a similar effect.”

Overall, Mr Scerri is very excited for the end result, saying that the project has been signed off from different departments and now just waiting for installation and production dates. 

Mr Scerri believed the build would be completed in August rather, than the intended June 31 deadline.

“So we’re back on track again it’s taken a little bit longer than we anticipated, but at least we’re doing it the right way.”

Mr Scerri is hoping to travel to Broken Hill for the first time, to witness the unveiling of his design welcome signs in what he said has been a really good project.

“They’re enormous signs and they’re going to be really impactful from every vantage point.

“I think that’s the aim, to make people more aware of where Broken Hill is.”

A Council spokesperson said an update on the project would be available at a later date.

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