North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) are about to close the Port of Mackay breakwater to all vehicle traffic after new engineering analysis revealed significant damage to the structure.
NQBP General Manager Engineering and Development, Rochelle Macdonald, said that initial assessments indicated the breakwaters had escaped the worst of the Tropical Cyclone (TC) Debbie with minimal damage.
“Further investigations, including 3D laser scanning, revealed the damage was worse than first thought. The Southern Breakwater in particular has suffered damage to the slope facing the sea,” Dr Macdonald added.
“Like so many others in the region, TC Debbie delivered a powerful blow to our east coast operations,” Dr Macdonald said. “While there is no question about the safety of the breakwaters, repairs are essential to ensure their integrity for future cyclone seasons.”
According to Dr Macdonald, due to the nature of the works traffic, including cars and motorbikes, will be unable to access the Southern Breakwater during the repairs. “Works are due to start in January. Our target is to have the repairs completed by the end of 2018.”
Overall, the project includes the supply and placement of 80,000 to 90,000 tonnes of rock for the breakwater project. NQBP estimates that the cost of the work will be around $12 million, with the tender process to be finalized in the coming weeks.