Dredging to be finished by Christmas

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Dredging at the Port of Warrnambool began in early November and is expected to be completed before the peak summer period.

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Vicki Jellie said that dredging would complement the new boat launching facilities in Lady Bay, which are approaching completion.

“The dredging is part of a 10-year program and has been designed to maintain safe, navigable access to the boat ramp, moorings and wharf, to alleviate unsafe conditions at the boat ramp and to alleviate erosion issues in the Lady Bay,” she said.

“Better Boating Victoria has provided $1 million to undertake the dredging work.

“The first dredge will be the largest of the 10-year dredging plan with regularly planned dredging every one to two years. 

“The methodology being used has been employed successfully elsewhere including in Queensland.” 

An initial 20,000m3 of sand will be dredged from the breakwater and be piped into an area 80m from the shore between McGennans Beach and The Flume. 

The dredged deposit will be dispersed by natural sediment transport processes along the beach profile. 

The breakwater carpark will be used for loading and unloading of equipment. 

A portion of the beach north of the Pavilion boat ramp will be used for the assembly of the pipeline and the small section of beach between the breakwater and the boat ramp will be closed while dredge assembly is under way.

All public beach access points will still be accessible, including the Pavilion boat ramp, and horse trainers will still be able to use the section of the beach.

The dredge itself will be in the water for the duration of the work with a booster pump located near the Worm Bay beach access. The pipeline nozzle will be on a skid platform with an excavator and will be relocated every one to three days between McGennans and The Flume.

“With wet sand being jettisoned 80m off shore in what is called a ‘rainbow arc’, it will be quite a sight to see, but safety is of the utmost importance,” Warrnambool City Council Chief Executive Officer Peter Schneider said.

“Equipment will be barricaded off from the public and a spotter will oversee safety while the dredge is operating.

“Outside of the area of beach where the nozzle is, and the area of the water where the sand is being deposited, people will still be able to access the beach and the ocean. 

“With the contractors having the flexibility to move the dredge nozzle between McGennans and The Flume, if a particularly hot day is forecast, they will endeavour to have the nozzle as far away from McGennans as possible.”

The dredge will operate seven days a week between the hours of 7am-7pm.