More than half of the total rock required to build a 2.2-kilometre protective sea wall has been delivered to the Port of Townsville, as part of its $193 million channel upgrade.
Construction of the sea wall will eventually help reclaim an additional 62 hectares of land for port operations and pave the way for up to six new berths at the port. Currently, the rock delivered weighs about 375,000 tonnes.
More than 70 port staff, rock supply and construction employees are involved in building the rock wall, and more than 10,000 project hours have been completed so far.
Local contractors have been engaged to supply rock from local quarries and those west of Townsville.
Holcim and HyTec along with Ravenswood Gold mine are suppling 750 000 tonnes of rock, and Queensland company Hall Contracting is building the 2.2-kilometre wall.
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The port upgrade comes as part of the City Deal and the sea wall is the first phase of the project. At the project’s conclusion, the ports channel will be widened allowing ships of up to 300 metres in length to visit the port.
Federal Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said the port upgrade had created a jobs and economic boost for Townsville.
“It’s fantastic to see the the rock wall powering ahead at a time when Townsville, like the rest of the country, needs an economic injection,” Tudge said.
“Off the back of the City Deal, getting work underway on this project is crucial to the Morrison Government’s priorities as we rebuild the economy during COVID-19.”
State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Port of Townsville was hugely important for the region.
“It is a vital piece of infrastructure that drives economic growth and generates jobs,” Stewart said.
“The upgrade will help the port increase its capacity which is important for many sectors of the North Queensland economy.”
Construction is expected to be complete early 2021. Dredging to widen the channel will begin immediately after. Dredging material will be used to reclaim the land area created by the wall.
Final completion of the entire project is expected for late 2023.
The Port of Townsville Channel Upgrade is a joint project of the Queensland and Federal Governments and Port of Townsville Limited. The Channel Upgrade forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.