A major upgrade to the Gold Coast’s Sand Bypass System jetty will ensure sand continues to be pumped northward keeping the Seaway open for the recreation, tourism and marine industries.
The Gold Coast Waterways Authority is investing about $3.35 million in the project which will enable critical maintenance works to be carried out effectively and safely on the System’s jet pumps.
CEO Hal Morris said the upgrade is essential as the pumps are the powerhouse of the Sand Bypass System’s operations.
“The pumps suck up sand from the seabed beneath the jetty and then the sand gets pumped underneath the Seaway to South Stradbroke Island, keeping this vital connection between the ocean and the waterways open for recreational and commercial vessels.
“We need to keep that sand moving because the Gold Coast’s beautiful waterways contribute $770 million each year to the local economy and support 6,000 direct and indirect jobs.”
Mr Morris said the ten jet pumps on the jetty require frequent maintenance which can only be undertaken when they’re lifted from beneath the sea floor by a crane on the jetty deck.
“This is one of the biggest upgrades we’ve undertaken on the Sand Bypass since it was built back in the 80s.
“Work starting today involves installing extra beams underneath the jetty deck and widening the decking near each pump so the maintenance crane can continue to operate safely and keep the pumps functioning.”
The contract to undertake the work has been awarded to local company, Alder Constructions. Alder Constructions General Manager Dean Cheffers said the company undertook previous upgrade works on the jetty which were completed in 2006.
“Alder successfully collaborated with Gold Coast Waterways Authority to deliver a complete refurbishment and upgrade of the jetty in 2006, on time and on budget,” he said.
“With the knowledge of this particular site and project, along with our other bridge refurbishment experience, Alder possesses the specific skills required in every area of this contract.
“From our home base on the Gold Coast we have expanded to other regions in the south-east, but it’s always a privilege to be involved in iconic local infrastructure projects like the Sand Bypass System jetty.”
For safety reasons, the jetty will be closed to the public until the project is finished in June next year. Public access to the beach beneath the jetty will also restricted from time-to-time while work is being done.
The Sand Bypass System is designed to replicate the natural northerly movement of sand along our coastline by transporting at least 500,000 m³ of sand under the Seaway to South Stradbroke Island each year.
Completed in 1986, the System was the first of its kind in the world.