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The Importance of Manholes to Civil Infrastructure


Here at Manhole Form Hire, we champion the humble manhole. Manholes are the reason we come to work every day and we’re proud to know that we’ve played a part in the construction of major civil infrastructure projects across the East Coast with our manhole forms. While not everyone has the same keen interest in manholes and access chambers as we do and more often than not they’re out of sight out of mind, we want to remind everyone of the important role they have in keeping countries moving. 

I’m sure this question has been asked many times by a time and budget poor project manager who knew the manhole would only be used once every ten years or so. Now I’m sure that removing a few of the manhole’s from the construction plan would have freed up the budget and sped up the project, but there are numerous reasons as to why there are strict regulations surrounding the installation of manholes and access chambers.

Without getting too stuck in the history of manholes, you can read more about that here, manholes and access chambers have played a vital role in keeping cities clean and running for centuries. Manholes are what connect the underground network of utilities to the surface and provide a way in for workers should there ever be an issue. Imagine having an issue with the sewerage line that runs down your street, but workers didn’t have close or direct access to the sewer line. Work to fix it could take weeks instead of days.

Aside from the convenience it brings to workers having manhole’s at regular intervals it’s also about safety. The underground network is not inherently designed for people, though they have been considered, so to go long distances into the tunnels is often both impossible and dangerous. This was realised a long time ago and was the reason why regulations were put in place regarding the maximum distance between two manholes.

What if We Didn’t Have Manholes and Access Chambers?

During times of flooding, storm and tidal surges manholes provide the water trapped in the stormwater tunnels with a place to escape, rather than continue to build up and potentially cause structural damage to the tunnels. If the lights of a major road intersection go out workers are able to quickly and easily access the control panel through a manhole or access chamber and get to work fixing the issue.

Civil Infrastructure’s Relationship with Manholes and Access Chambers

While those that build civil infrastructure may have a love-hate relationship with manholes and access chambers, there is no denying the important role they play in in the sector. Manholes and access chambers are essential to the day to day lives of those that work with civil infrastructure. Manholes and access chambers are used to access civil infrastructure by Telstra workers, state water workers and transport and main roads workers to name a few.

Without manholes and access chambers, civil infrastructure workers would not be able to run maintenance checks, carry out essential updates and fix issues when they occur. Not only do manholes and access chambers play a major role in the day to day lives of civil infrastructure workers but they are crucial to the ongoing functionality of the underground utility network during a crisis.

Manholes and Access Chambers are Here to Stay

No matter your thoughts or opinions on manholes and access chambers, their practicality is second to none. When installed properly they rarely need maintenance over their long lifetime and provide quick and easy access when needed. For what are essentially the doorways to the underground utility network you would think more attention would be given to them. But perhaps they are relegated to the same out of sight out of mind mindset as the underground utilities they protect, that is until something goes wrong and they’re needed.

Need to install a manhole in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra or Melbourne?

At Manhole Form Hire we have an extensive range of manhole forms ready for hire today. Whether you’re working on a major new development like the Brisbane Airport third runway or resurfacing a local road, we have the forms you need to meet the local regulations for manhole installation, give us a call to organise your hire today! Want to know the benefits of hiring manhole forms compared to buying precast manholes? Read our blog on the topic here.

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Support products

Manhole Form Hire’s equipment is available in many different sizes, shapes, and specifications, so you can customise your manhole form based on the job at hand. Here are the main categories of product that we offer:

Our product range

Round, elongated Forms & Pour Boards

Round, elongated forms & pour boards

Light Duty Pit Boxes

Light duty pit boxes

Heavy Duty Pit Boxes

Heavy duty pit boxes

Taper Back Pit Boxes

Taper back forms and risers


Manhole form scaffold


Backdrop panels

Aspro & Neck Rings

Aspro and neck rings



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