REVEALED: The massive effort required to clear river mouth
BOATIES can pass through the region's most popular waterway without hesitation after the completion of the long-awaited Boyne River mouth dredging project.
Restoration works wrapped up last week allowing a clear way for vessels to have safe passage through the mouth of the river at all times.
The channel is approximately one kilometre long, 15 to 30 metres wide depending on the section and at least 1m deep on all tides.
Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive officer Peter O'Sullivan said more than 30,000m2 of material was removed over the past eight months.
The amount was more than double what was originally planned.
"The original plan was to restore the river entrance depths to 0.5 metres below low water datum," Mr O'Sullivan said.
"This was reviewed and the decision was made to fully restore the depth to 1m, resulting in an increase of sediment being removed.
"We had an initial target of 12,000-15,000m2 but we were able to double our original target ... It was good sand and gravel and we were able to use it in land reclamation projects.
"In talking to boaties we wanted to make sure we didn't over promise and under deliver, so when we made our first assessment we knew we could get 0.5m.
"That's what we guaranteed but we always hoped with the right equipment and right conditions we could return it to its full depth of 1m."
The $1million project was an election commitment delivered by Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and funded by the Queensland Government through the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
Mr Butcher said the project was successfully completed without any impact on the surrounding marine life.
"The project was undertaken in a way that diligently considered and minimised impacts on both the community and the environment," he said.
"Boat users in the area now have unrestricted access to the Boyne River, improving safety and navigation."
Dredging was originally scheduled to finish for the May 3-5 Boyne Tannum HookUp, but adverse weather and wind conditions during the early months of the project cause its delay.
A barge or sweep may return to the area in the coming weeks to undertake tidy up works, as surveys are finalised.
The project was initiated following flood events in 2011 and 2013, which caused significant shoaling at the channel entrance.