Boaties will be the winners with a new $750,000 permanent dredging pipeline to be installed at the entrance channel to Mooloolaba Harbour.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said the pipeline, which would be submerged under the river, meant dredging will now have little impact on vessel traffic in and out of the harbour.
“A contract is in the process of being finalised and awarded to Hall Contracting who are the long-term dredging contractor in Mooloolaba Harbour,” Ms Simpson said.
“Halls Contracting currently has a dredge anchored in the harbour to attend to shoaling events that pose a safety issue to vessels crossing the Harbours entrance channel at low tide.
“Transport and Main Roads’ officers have been working closely with Halls Contracting to design a dredging pipeline that will suit their needs while dredging Mooloolaba Harbour.
“The permanent pipeline will be installed along the eastern and western breakwaters and submerged across the entrance channel seabed.
“This will allow the dredge to operate with greatly improved efficiency, resulting in significantly higher productive dredging.
“The permanent pipeline is expected to be fully installed by the end of May.
“In the short-term, the Government has engaged the larger Gold Coast-based dredge, the Port Frederick, to quickly clear the entrance channel shoal.”
Ms Simpson said the installation of a permanent submerged dredging pipeline was deemed to be the best solution after the sand shifter trial proved ineffective.
“The six-month trial began in August last year – it was worth a go but the sand shifter pumps did not stop most of the sand entering the entrance channel during heavy weather events,” she said.
“However, further expert investigations are looking at additional possible measures to improve maintenance to the entrance, for example the use of a sand shifter with an extension of the breakwater and a six-metre-deep excavated hole.
“These options will be modelled to investigate these longer-term solutions.”
Funding for the pipeline is being provided by Transport and Main Roads’ Boating Infrastructure Capital and Maintenance Program.
Press Release, February 12, 2013