Major upgrade of the Gold Coast’s Sand Bypass System complete

The Palaszczuk Government’s multi-million-dollar upgrade of the Gold Coast’s Sand Bypass System jetty is complete, supporting ongoing Seaway and inland coastal waterways access for boaties and commercial operators.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said that the $3.35 million Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) project involved installing extra support beams underneath the jetty deck and widening the decking to enable more modern and bigger cranes to be used for maintenance.

“The Palaszczuk Government is investing more than $34 million to upgrade and maintain our waterways on the Gold Coast and also support close to 100 jobs as part of Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan,” Mr Bailey said.

“The job was carried out by local firm Alder Constructions with about 25 people working on site at the project’s peak providing a much-needed boost for the business and their employees,” added Mr Bailey.

He continued by saying that the cranes are needed to lift the jet pumps out of the water so they can undergo maintenance. The pumps are at the heart of the system’s operations which is why it’s critical to keep them in peak condition.

The jetty strengthening project is one of the biggest upgrades to the Sand Bypass System since it began operating in the 1980s.

CEO Hal Morris said that the project also involved the demolition of an ageing structure at the entrance to the jetty, enabling the installation of a new disability compliant ramp to improve access for visitors.

“We’re aiming to have the jetty open to public access before Christmas. However, I’d like people to be aware that because the jetty supports working components of the Sand Bypass System we will have to close it from time to time to allow work to be done safely,” Mr Morris said.

He added that the jetty will generally open to public access from 8 am to 8 pm with any changes to those hours being posted on GCWA’s website and social media pages.

Completed in 1986, the Sand Bypass System was the first of its kind in the world.

The System is designed to replicate the natural northerly movement of sand along the Gold Coast’s coastline. In the 2019-2020 financial year it transported almost 661,000 m³ of sand under the Seaway to South Stradbroke Island, a similar amount to the previous year.

The Sand Bypass System reduced the need to dredge the Gold Coast Seaway entrance annually to once every 5-8 years. The last time the Seaway entrance was dredged was in 2011.

With the jetty upgrade complete, planning is underway for a $6.5 million dredging campaign to remove a shoal near the Seaway entrance and dredge the adjacent North and South Channels.

Photo: Queensland Government