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Long Jetty’s opening success

IT has been just over eight years in the making but finally the $10.85 million restoration of the Port Welshpool Long Jetty has been realised.

Hundreds of people walked on the jetty on the weekend before Christmas, when the jetty first opened unofficially, in time for the summer holiday season

South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Don Hill was excited about the jetty opening.

“The community has been awaiting this project for many, many years and it was starting to look like it might never happen as the previous Long Jetty slowly disintegrated into the sea,” he said.

“Thankfully the State and Federal governments agreed to fund the project in conjunction with South Gippsland Shire Council and work was begun bringing us to this point in time where the project is nearly complete.

“It is exciting that the community will be able to make use of the new jetty ahead of its official opening in 2019.”

The reaction from those who walked or fished from the jetty was repeated over and over again, with many people amazed by the project.

The project-funding breakdown saw South Gippsland Council contribute $1 million. The Victorian Government gave $5 million thanks to the efforts of retired National Party leader Peter Ryan and the Federal Government gave $4.85 million.

Works commenced on site in July with site establishment and the removal of the deck timbers from the inshore section

The project saw the inshore 190 metres rehabilitated on the existing piles crossheads and beams with precast concrete deck panels.

From pile row 62 to the start of the burnt section, a distance of approximately 572 metres, the existing structure was demolished and replaced.

It followed the same alignment, with a new structure comprising timber piles and crossheads with a composite steel beam and concrete deck.

The new timber piles were turpentine species driven at a rake to match the existing piles at six metre centres, compared to the three metre centre of the piles in the existing jetty. The slipway approach was partially reconstructed in a similar manner to the jetty, and the existing winch shed restored and re-erected on the rebuilt slipway approach.

The outer end of the jetty, beyond the end of the reconstructed jetty, will be demolished with the piles being cut off at two metres below low water to be retained as habitat. Navigation aids will be installed to define the underwater habitat area.

The jetty has been finished to ensure disabled access and has been fitted with a fibreglass handrail on sides, public lighting, and a water supply and fire service. Following completion of the works, there will be the opportunity to provide interpretative information around the history of the Long Jetty.

SMC Marine indicated they intended, in association with a timber recycler, to grade the removed timbers as furniture, architectural, landscape, firewood and disposal grades.

The project provided employment opportunities, with SMC Marine engaging regional subcontractors and suppliers.

Additional work is still required before the official opening in March/April 2019. It is anticipated these works will be carried out while the jetty is open, but certain areas may need to be restricted to the public to ensure safety.

The jetty will help to attract new visitors, and particularly fishing enthusiasts, to Corner Inlet and South Gippsland. Conveniently located close to the Great Southern Rail Trail, the newly refurbished asset is a must do this summer.

Council thanked Gippsland Ports and the contractor who they said had been working hard to ensure the facility was available for everyone to enjoy over the summer season.

Works to complete the finishing touches will resume in January.

Taking it all in. Port Welshpool’s newly restored Long Jetty attracted hundreds of visitors during its recent open weekend. Some walked while others rode their bikes and all agreed the jetty was “just fantastic”.

Fishing: Jarred Hall from Leongatha and Sam Esler Prowd from Port Franklin threw their lines in off the newly restored Port Welshpool Long Jetty

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27006

Posted by on Dec 31 2018. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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