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Page last updated on 28-08-2023.
Channel Upgrade Overview
The Channel Upgrade will be delivered over a period of six years from 2018 to 2024.
The first phase included preparation works, followed by rock supply and construction of the rock wall. Capital dredging for channel widening and filling of the reclamation area will complete the project.
Preparation and Rock Wall Construction:
- 2018: Environmental approvals received.
- April 2019: Local suppliers began delivering more than 800,000 tonnes of rock to the Port, to be used in construction of a 2.2km rock wall.
- March 2020: Start of rock wall construction for the 62ha port reclamation area at the eastern end of the Port.
- June 2021: Rock wall complete.
- July 2021: Construction of a Temporary Unloading Facility on the western bund where dredged material will be unloaded on to moxys for placement in the 62ha reclamation area.
- January 2022: The largest Australian-owned backhoe dredge Woomera arrived in Townsville and started dredging a path to the Temporary Unloading Facility.
- March 2022: Channel widening commenced, with Woomera working to widen the channel from 92m to 180m at the inshore (Port) end, tapering to 120m at the seaward end. Most capital dredging (90 per cent) will take place in the Platypus Channel, with the rest occurring in the Sea Channel which runs adjacent to Magnetic Island.
- October 2022: The CU project reaches a major milestone with one million cubic metres of dredged material being brought back to land for beneficial reuse in the reclamation. A total of 3.4million cubic metres will be removed during the campaign, meaning dredging is almost a third of the way complete.
- April 2023: Channel widening hit the halfway mark, with 1,721,300 million cubic metres of dredge material removed from the Platypus Channel. It took 1247 barges being loaded and unloaded into our reclamation area to get this far.
- July 2023: Backhoe dredge Woomera moved to the Sea Channel to conduct the first dredging works in the area. About 10 per cent of the total dredging works will be undertaken in the Sea Channel, which runs adjacent to Magnetic Island.
- Early 2024: Channel widening completed. Vessels of up to 300 metres in length will be able to safely access the Port.