Major sand relocation project for Apollo Bay
May 17, 2018
Thousands of cubic metres of sand will be removed from the Port of Apollo Bay and Point Bunbury groyne over the next five weeks to improve the area for boat users.
Work to relocate 32,000 cubic metres of sand will begin on Monday, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
The project will not only rid the harbour and Point Bunbury area of built up sand, but also relocate that sand to the Apollo Bay foreshore and Marengo where it will help replenish the beaches.
Mayor Joe McCracken said it was a win/win for the harbour and beaches, but it was a large project that would impact the town and community for five weeks.
“It’s a lot of sand that will be excavated from the area and trucked, either along the beach to Marengo or through town to the area of the foreshore between Cawood Street and Mother’s Beach,” he said.
“Over the next five weeks, more than 3000 truckloads will transport enough sand to fill 13 Olympic swimming pools, so we need to be clear that there will be a disruption – but for a very good reason.”
Cr McCracken said the harbour had been getting shallower for many years, which had progressively made it harder for deeper vessels to access it.
“To keep the harbour navigable, we need to remove some sand from both within the harbour and the Point Bunbury groyne, which is the sand that ends up washing through the entrance and causing build up,” he said.
“The bigger picture is still to do a larger project to dredge and empty the harbour of sand build up, but this is a way to remove excess sand now and improve access for larger vessels.
“Dredging is done almost daily to keep the entrance open and Council is working on a project to dredge in the harbour. In the interim, excavators will be used to remove and deepen the area where the breakwater meets the land.”
Cr McCracken said an area at the eastern end of the carpark near the boat ramp would be fenced off throughout the project.
“Some of the sand will be trucked along the beach to Marengo and spread out to build up the foreshore there and better protect the road and other infrastructure,” he said.
“The other half will repatriate the beach in Apollo Bay between Cawood Street and Mother’s Beach, next to the port itself.
“The Otway Coast Committee has been involved in this and is driving the protection of the foreshore. Environmentally, the hooded plover is something being managed very carefully.”
Cr McCracken said the route through Apollo Bay would see trucks travel from the harbour, along Nelson Street, turn right into Pascoe Street and right into Thomson Street before crossing the main road and accessing the beach.
“This will mean there will be no public access to the foreshore crossover at Thomson Street and beach access point,” he said.
“There will also be a maximum speed limit through the township of 40kph and we’ll have fixed signs in place in both English and Mandarin warning of the high volume of truck movement in the area.
“Every precaution will be taken, but we’re urging people in Apollo Bay over the next five weeks to take care, be patient and understand the disruption is necessary to complete these important improvements to the harbour.”