Pontoon replacement provides boost for boating enthusiasts

Work is beginning on an upgrade of facilities at Ocean Grove’s Guthridge Street Boat Ramp which will improve access to the Barwon River for the region’s boating enthusiasts.

Storm damage to both the upstream and downstream pontoons in 2020 and 2021, saw the City of Greater Geelong install temporary structures to allow time for new designs to be developed and funding sourced for replacement.

It was decided to replace the downstream pontoon and refurbish the upstream pontoon.

The City was successful in securing $120,000 to refurbish the upstream pontoon thanks to a 2021-2022 Recreational Boating Structural Maintenance Program (RBSMP) grant from Better Boating Victoria (BBV), while a further $250,000 was also provided by BBV to complete the replacement of the downstream pontoon.

The City has contributed in-kind and funding support, including all project management aspects.

The design of the pontoons was completed by engineering, environmental, design and construction experts GHD, who were engaged following a competitive process.

The design was jointly funded by the City of Greater Geelong and Better Boating Victoria. Following a tender process marine construction and commercial diving expert Elstone Diving Services was appointed to deliver the works.

Along with a structure for boats to be temporarily tied to while launching and retrieving boats, the project will include pedestrian access for fishing and the relocation of the fish cleaning facility from the gangway on the downstream pontoon to its own platform.

The structure has a design life of at least 50 years.

The work is expected to be completed by December 2022.

The Honorable Lisa Neville – Member for Bellarine

The upgrade will be welcomed by the local community and visiting boaters over the coming summer holidays.

These new pontoons will provide a great facility for recreational boaters and make it easier for the Coast Watch Marine Rescue – Ocean Grove, which has passionately advocated for the upgrade, to carry out its important work.

The Government continues to invest in upgraded facilities like this to make it easier for families to get out on the water and enjoy time spent in the great outdoors.

Councillor Trent Sullivan – Deputy Mayor

The pontoon upgrade and replacement will provide valuable health benefits to many in the community.

There are many people in our region hitting the water as their source of recreation and break away from the rigours of work and the stresses of life.

We all understand the benefits of good mental health, so it’s important that we make it as easy as we can for people who love fishing and time on the water to find their space.

Councillor Stephanie Asher – Bellarine Ward

The project will deliver a vital piece of infrastructure for the region’s boating enthusiasts.

Residents in and around Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula understand the importance that boating, fishing and other water-based activities hold for our community.

The pontoons will make for ongoing easy access to a pristine part of the Barwon River and will ensure our community can capitalise on some of the terrific natural waterways within close proximity.

Councillor Jim Mason – Bellarine Ward

The Ocean Grove boat ramp is popular among locals and visitors and the upgrade is the quality infrastructure that the area deserves for years to come.

This project is exactly what the area needs and it’s great that once the upgrade is completed in December, everyone can access the amazing Barwon River and all the ocean has to offer in the safest way possible, in all weather conditions.

/Public Release. View in full here.