Boat­ies to ben­e­fit as ramps are up­graded

New walk­ways floated

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY rachel. ri­ley@ news. com. au

TWO north­ern beaches boat ramps will be widened and have float­ing walk­ways in­stalled as early as Jan­uary in a bid to im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity and safety.

The Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads is seek­ing ten­ders for the de­sign and con­struc­tion of the walk­ways at Saun­ders Beach ( Althaus Creek) and Bush­land Beach ( Stoney Creek).

The con­tract, which will be awarded in Septem­ber, will also in­clude widen­ing the ex­ist­ing ramp at Saun­ders Beach, with a new lane added at Bush­land Beach.

A TMR spokes­woman said the projects would be funded through the Marine In­fra­struc­ture Fund, with work set to start in Oc­to­ber and to be fin­ished by the end of Jan­uary 2016, weather per­mit­ting.

“With the in­crease in pop­u­la­tion in the north­ern sub­urbs … the de­mand for ad­di­tional boating fa­cil­i­ties has in­creased and the in­stal­la­tion of float­ing walk­ways is a great way to do this,” the spokes­woman said.

The float­ing walk­ways will al­low the ramps to be used at lower tides, ease con­ges­tion and im­prove safety due to the preva­lence of crocodiles and marine stingers.

Hinch­in­brook MP An­drew Cripps said it was im­por­tant com­mu­nity in­fra­struc­ture kept up with pop­u­la­tion growth at the North­ern Beaches.

“Fish­ing and boating is a very pop­u­lar pas­time for lo­cals and in­deed, many res­i­dents from more ur­ban sub­urbs of Townsville fre­quently travel up to the North­ern Beaches to go fish­ing and use boating and marine in­fra­struc­ture in the area,” Mr Cripps said.

“Float­ing pon­toons in­crease ac­cess to and safety of fish­ing and boating ac­tiv­i­ties for younger and older peo­ple and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.”

Mr Cripps said is­su­ing the ten­ders sep­a­rately may in­crease the ca­pac­ity of lo­cal con­trac­tors to se­cure the work.

“Lo­cal knowl­edge is al­ways use­ful when as­sess­ing the re­quired scope and stan­dards of a pro­ject to en­sure not only value for money, but that the in­fra­struc­ture is fit for pur­pose and will stand up to North Queens­land’s harsh en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

The TMR spokes­woman said some par­tial ramp clo­sures would be re­quired to com­plete the work and full ramp clo­sures for short pe­ri­ods while piling works were un­der­way may also be needed.

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