The Gold Coast’s Sand Bypass System is about to receive a new lease of life with work underway on upgrading its high voltage switch gear.

We’ll invest about $1.9 million in upgrade works over the next 12 months.

The upgrade is expected to generate about 20 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the project.

Our CEO Hal Morris said GCWA has awarded a contract to engineering firm Cardno (QLD) to undertake design and procurement works and to oversee the installation of the upgrade.

‘The Sand Bypass System has been reliably pumping sand north and helping keep the Seaway open for boaties for more than 30 years, relying on the same high voltage switching gear installed back in the late 1980s.

‘It’s done a great job but it’s reaching the end of its natural life so it’s time for us to upgrade it in line with modern operational and safety standards.’

The Sand Bypass System is designed to transport 500,000 cubic metres of sand from The Spit to South Stradbroke Island each year. Ongoing improvements saw it pump more than 664,000 cubic metres along the coastline last financial year.

Mr Morris said the upgrade builds on other investments in improving the operating efficiency of the system including a project to strengthen the jetty decking which is nearing completion and the installation of a solar array which is producing enough energy to help meet the day-time needs of the Sand Bypass System.

The high voltage upgrade will also support the City of Gold Coast’s Sand Backpassing project which proposes to connect a pipe into the Sand Bypass System to pump sand south to the beaches around Surfers Paradise to build resilience to storm surges and erosion.

The contract awarded to Cardno is worth just under $175,000 and is included in the $1.9 million investment planned for the next 12 months.