And so the grand project ground into action. The sheer scale of the project can be understood from contemporary photographs and other illustrations. This was a massive enterprise that employed thousands and exploited brand new construction technologies. .
The coffer dam alone that held back the waters of Hobsons bay was a huge 300 yards in length. The basalt blocks were quarried at Maidstone, cut to size, and transported by dedicated tramline and rail to the building site. Each of those blocks weighed between 5 to 7 tons.
The blocks themselves were hoisted into place by one, and then later two, ingenious overhead railways.