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River abuzz with barges for new developments

19 June, 2014

The Brisbane River has become the focus of the city’s infrastructure activity with several large barges lining the river’s edge for a number of critical Brisbane City Council projects.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the large vessels, ranging in size between 35 and 60 metres, were a clear sign of major works in progress.

“Barges on the river, just like cranes in the city skyline, are a good indicator of development activity,” he said.

“We are experiencing a range of new developments which are aimed at dealing with our city’s growth and expansion.

“Council is helping to facilitate this growth through key infrastructure projects currently underway including the New Farm Riverwalk, Milton ferry terminal, Kingsford Smith Drive and soon the Bulimba, Brett’s Wharf and Hawthorne ferry terminal upgrades.

“The Brisbane River presents both great opportunities and challenges when it comes to planning and developing around its winding route, which is why these projects require barges for activities such as piling, geotechnical investigations and heavy lifting.”

Cr Quirk said in a 10 kilometre stretch along the river there were five barges currently operating.

“This includes two barges for Riverwalk, and one each for Milton ferry terminal, Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade and one off the City Botanic Gardens for the State Government’s BaT project and will increase to seven in August when work begins on the Bulimba ferry terminal.”

He said both Riverwalk barges, one 60 metres and the other 50 metres, would stay on site until the walkway neared completion.

“Once these works have been completed the barges will be towed by tug boats, which is actually quite a logistical effort given the sheer size of these rigs,” he said.

“The 35 metre barge off Kingsford Smith Drive has also begun geotechnical investigations in the river between Breakfast Creek and Brett’s Wharf for the expansion of the road corridor.

“This barge is expected to stay in this location until late July – so it’s very likely residents will also notice the presence of these large vessels for some time still.”

He said the barge being used for piling and heavy lifting at the construction of the new Milton ferry terminal would move downstream once works had been completed at Milton, with the barge to move from terminal to terminal for all seven ferry replacement projects.

[Ends] June 18, 2014

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