Dredging complete for the Sunshine Coast’s new runway
  • Monday 24 September 2018
Mayor Mark Jamieson with Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project Director Ross Ullman at the sand pump out area

The Sunshine Coast Airport expansion project has reached another significant milestone, with the completion of sand dredging and pumping operations ahead of schedule.

Around 1.3 million cubic metres of sand is now on site and will form the foundation of the runway which remains on track to be completed by Christmas 2020.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said finishing the dredging phase of construction was a very important step for the $303 million expansion project.

“Finishing this program of work ahead of time is a great credit to everyone involved,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“I’d like to thank John Holland, the Dredging International crews and the airport expansion project team for managing this huge exercise so smoothly.

“Based on the progress to date, I have every confidence that we will have the pipeline removed and the beach rehabilitated before November 1 – the official start of the turtle nesting season.

“The contractor is ready to decommission the pipeline from tomorrow.”

Mayor Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion project was forging ahead at a rate of knots.

“Pumping the sand from the Spitfire Channel in Moreton Bay and transporting it to the Sunshine Coast by the Nile River dredge has proven to be an outstanding success,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“If this sand had to be transported by road, it would take approximately 12 months to get it on site, with 350 truck movements per day (175 in each direction) or approximately one every 1.7 minutes.

“Our off-shore solution has seen the same job done in under three months.

“But most importantly, we have avoided 12 months’ of truck movements through towns like Bli Bli, which are on the haul route.

“This is just another example of how the Sunshine Coast is truly Australia’s healthy, smart and creative region”.

Mayor Jamieson said the airport runway expansion was Sunshine Coast Council's single largest construction project and would deliver a wealth of benefits to the region.

“Having this greater capability will unlock more tourism opportunities, new international trade prospects and will provide the springboard our businesses need to export their products and services to markets faster and more efficiently,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The new longer, wider runway will enable direct access to new markets in Asia, the Pacific and other locations in Australia which cannot currently be serviced with direct flights to and from the Sunshine Coast.

“The project is forecast to contribute $4.1 billion to the Sunshine Coast economy through to 2040 and revolutionise access to and from one of Australia’s fastest growing regions”

To allow for the removal of the dredging pipeline, the beach at Marcoola, between beach access 110 and 113, will be closed for up to 48 hours from Tuesday September 25, at 5.00am.

Signage and detours around this section will be in place and the site will be monitored.

The full removal of the pipe from the beach is expected to take around two weeks.

The contractor will then replace the sand removed from the dune at beach access 111 and start reshaping the dune ready to start revegetating.

Council and John Holland is pleased to have Coolum North Shore Coast Care and the local turtle group volunteers involved in this process, including providing local advice and plant stock.


Image: Mayor Mark Jamieson with Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project Director Ross Ullman on site near the sand pump out area.