New jetty coming to life
WORK on the Port Welshpool Long Jetty is progressing well, with contractor SMC Marine already installing concrete decking on the structure.
The inshore 190 metres has been partially rehabilitated to retain the appearance of the existing piles, crossheads and beams, while the decking will be been replaced with precast concrete slabs.
From 190 metres onwards to a distance of around 572 metres, the existing structure will be demolished and replaced.
It will follow the same alignment, with a new structure comprising timber piles and crossheads with a composite steel beam and concrete deck.
The slipway approach will be partially reconstructed in a similar manner to the jetty and the existing winch shed will be restored.
The remaining section of the jetty will be demolished, with the piles being cut off at two metres below low water to be retained as habitat.
The $11 million project is expected to take around 18 months to complete, and the rehabilitated and rebuilt jetty is expected to have a lifespan of at least 40 years.
As the community representative on the project’s working group, Welshpool’s Paul Macphail is pleased to see the project finally underway after campaigning for the works for so many years.
“It has been a long, hard, slow and sometimes frustrating road, so it is fantastic to see it happening even though it took so long,” he said.
“What SMC Marine has done so far looks great.”
Peter Rose from Port Welshpool said the restoration of the Long Jetty was positive for locals and tourists.
“It is exciting to see it all up and going. We are already getting people asking us to let them know when it is open so they can come down and see it,” he said.
Mr Rose said he is looking forward to seeing people on the jetty again, be they on foot, in a wheelchair or with a pram. He said it will be accessible to everyone.
South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Ray Argento said the project was on track for an October 2018 completion date.
“We look forward to ensuring the jetty attracting more visitors to the region, once the project is complete,” he said.
“It will give the area a big boost in tourism and will provide a benefit to the economies of the small towns in the Corner Inlet region.”
Cr Argento said both locals and visitors are keen to see the jetty finished so they can go fishing again.
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