Installation of replacement pontoons gets underway

Date published: 1 October 2020

Townsville City Council has floated the first of four replacement pontoons that will once again give residents and sporting groups easier access to Ross River.

Deputy Mayor and Infrastructure Services Committee chairperson Mark Molachino said the four pontoons previously installed at Apex Park in Condon, Framara Park in Kelso and Rossiter Park in Aitkenvale were washed away during the unprecedented monsoon event in February 2019.

Thanks to funding provided through the joint Australian and Queensland Governments’ Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), Council has engaged CivilPlus Construction to replace the pontoons. The pontoons at Apex Park are being installed first. The project will cost $700,000 and will support around 35 jobs.

“It is great to see the first pontoons being put back in place. The structures are the same size as those they’re replacing – the Apex Park and Rossiter Park pontoons are three metres by almost eight metres. Framara Park is nearly four metres by six metres, so they’re a great size for people who are looking to get out on the river again,” Cr Molachino said.

“These pontoons are much more resilient than the structures that were damaged in the 2019 monsoon. Geotechnical investigations have ensured the replacement piles could withstand the river flows we saw last year.

“The design and construction meet the latest standards, so this is another great step forward in the city’s recovery.”

Council Sport and Recreation Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said sport and community groups will welcome the new pontoons.

“The pontoons at Apex Park are popular with kayakers and stand up paddle boarders and I’m sure they’ll be among the first to get back on the water,” Cr Soars said.

“If you look across all four pontoons, you’ll see a range of sports and community groups making the most of their return – the dragon boat club is one of my favourites.

“These pontoons give people a chance to get active, fish or unwind on the water and they also give residents a great incentive to get outdoors and explore Ross River.”