The Apollo Bay In-harbour dredging project, which commenced in April, is now complete – ahead of schedule and under budget.
Colac Otway Shire Mayor Cr Jason Schram said the project had been a great success, achieving more than the original scope of the project and providing not only a massive boost to the local fishing and tourism industry but also recreational and commercial boat owners using the ramp.
“It’s been a tough start to the year for the Apollo Bay community, with the local commercial fishing, hospitality and tourism operators all significantly impacted by coronavirus,” Cr Schram said.
“However, with the support of the State Government, Colac Otway Shire as manager of the Apollo Bay Harbour has been able to go ahead with dredging of the harbour to ensure the Port’s viability for years to come.
“The Port of Apollo Bay provides a huge economic benefit and completion of the dredging will allow Council to look at opportunities to increase the Port’s use and expand on that benefit.
“A total of 72,400 cubic meters of sand and silt was removed from inside the harbour during the course of the project, 31-per-cent more than the 55,000 cubic meters that was the objective of the project.
“The majority of the harbour was dredged to -3.5m, with additional areas completed dredged to -2m to -3m.
“The lump sum volume of 55,000m3 was delivered ahead of schedule and under budget, which allowed the Port to retain the contract dredging team to conduct additional work which has proven a great benefit to boat ramp users.
“Through this additional work, the contractors were able to clear the channel to the boat ramp, which was becoming a navigation hazard with very shallow water in parts of the channel.
“There was increased turbidity at Mother’s Beach and waters surrounding the harbour during the course of the project, as expected.
“However, as anticipated, the water quality has returned to pre-dredging levels already, with the sediments and murky water quickly dissipating and settling down,” he said.
“Colac Otway Shire wishes to thank our community members for their co-operation and support throughout the project.”