Boaties to benefit as ramps are upgraded
New walkways floated
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.