Urgent dredging at Kalbarri complete
News for the Department of Transport
Expedited maintenance dredging at Kalbarri by the Department of Transport (DoT) has restored depths for safe navigation of the entrance channel at the mouth of the Murchison River.
Last year DoT brought forward a campaign planned for late 2022 after a severe winter combined with the impacts of Cyclone Seroja saw concerning levels of infilling, making navigation more dangerous.
DoT Director Coastal Facilities Donna West said a record 95,000 cubic metres of material had been extracted since September resulting in the navigable width of the channel increasing from approximately three metres to 140 metres currently.
“This is an excellent result for the local fishing and charter industry operators who had expressed concern about the depth of the channel after last winter,” Ms West said.
Most of the material was taken from the northern bank of the entrance channel and the sand spit from the southern shore. Some of the dredged material was added to Chinaman’s Beach and on the foreshore area extending northeast of the marine rescue boat ramp. The remaining material was pumped approximately one kilometre north of the river mouth.
Ms West said the rescheduled $880,000 campaign was possible thanks to the flexibility of the contractor, CGC Dredging and the understanding of the City of Rockingham which agreed to postpone their planned works, making the required machinery available.
“Dredging is vital for continued safe access for recreational and commercial craft through the waterway and DoT has successfully worked with its contractor and stakeholders to deliver the project as quickly as possible,” Ms West said.
“The benefit will be a safer passage for skippers through what are known to be treacherous waters in poor conditions.”
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