Rock-solid milestone for $232m port upgrade
Constructing the 2.2km rock wall is the first critical step in widening Townsville’s shipping channel to allow larger ships, to access the port.
The material recovered as the dredging team starts to widen almost 15km of sea channels over the next two years will be used to reclaim the area behind the wall and support a 62ha expansion.
Queensland Resources Minister and State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Channel Upgrade would support jobs in the Townsville region, providing local opportunities during North Queensland’s economic recovery.
“The project has so far provided employment to more than 1300 people since 2018, when design work started,” Mr Stewart said.
“Expanding the Port of Townsville’s footprint builds capacity for our resources sector to export more to the world through our pit to port approach, which involves upgrading the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line too.
“The resources sector plays a vital role in supporting jobs across the state and it will be a key part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from COVID-19. More exports means more royalties, and more jobs for Queenslanders.”
Port of Townsville chief infrastructure officer Marissa Wise said seven local rock suppliers provided 900,000 tonnes of rock, with construction of the 10m-high wall requiring specialist knowledge.
“It was a complex project that called on the marine construction expertise of designers, engineers, environmental experts and contractors working together,” Ms Wise said.
“We have used a number of innovative design and construction techniques to ensure the rock wall withstands tidal action, storm surges, cyclones and rising sea levels.”
During the peak construction phase of the rock wall, there were 200 trucks passing through the site gates every day to deliver over 20,000 tonnes of rock a week.
Dredging to widen Townsville’s 14.9km shipping channel will commence shortly, with the project set for completion in late 2023.
The Channel Upgrade project is the largest infrastructure project in Port of Townsville’s history and is the first stage of the 30-year Port Expansion Project.
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