South Wave Break Island channel dredging works completed ahead of schedule

Boaties have received an early Christmas present with dredging work in the South Wave Break Island channel on the Gold Coast being finished sooner than originally planned.

Dredging works started on 22 November and were originally due to finish on 20 December however, the works finished early on 10 December.

The South Wave Break Island channel is a key connection for people travelling between the eastern and western areas of the Broadwater to access the waterways network.

Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) CEO, Hal Morris said maintaining ongoing access to the Gold Coast’s waterways is vital for the marine, tourism and recreation industries.

‘Our waterways support 6,000 direct and indirect jobs and contribute $770 million directly and indirectly to our local economy every year.

‘That’s why we’ve invested $532,000 in keeping this channel safe and accessible for waterways users.’

The clean material dredged from the channel was placed at the southern end of the beach on Wave Break Island to replace sand lost to erosion and help build up resilience to storm surges.

Mr Morris said it was pleasing that the dredging contractor was able to complete this job well within schedule while minimising impacts on waterways users.

‘An example of this was limiting the placement of material to the half-way point on the beach which meant impacts were minimised at the northern end of the beach which is used by tourism operators.’

GCWA undertook regular water quality monitoring during the dredging operation with data showing the water quality levels were well within approved limits.

Mr Morris said the dredging needed to be done because routine surveys had shown significant shoaling had occurred in the channel, reducing available depths to less than one metre below Lowest Astronomical Tide (LAT) in some areas.

Almost 22,000 cubic metres of clean sand was removed from the channel during the dredging campaign, enough to fill Cbus Stadium at Robina to a depth of about 2 metres.

GCWA also undertook marine fauna and seagrass monitoring to ensure the protection of local environmental values on a longer-term basis.

The dredging works are part of the GCWA’s $27.6 million Waterways Management Program.