Concrete boardwalks protect sensitive dune vegetation

Posted: March 15, 2010

Two Rocla PermaTrak concrete boardwalks are part of an award-winning foreshore restoration project near the Hay Point Coal Terminal in central Queensland.

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) exports coal from Central Queensland mines through the Hay Point Coal Terminal south of Mackay which, with the adjoining Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, is one of the largest and busiest facilities in the world.

As part of BMA’s environmental management plan, they formed a foreshore development project team to restore fragile coastal and dune vegetation, protect turtle nesting sites and promote community access to the beach area near the Hay Point Coal terminal land, which is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park World Heritage area.

An 18-hectare strip of undeveloped land owned by BMA, which provides a buffer between the terminal and Hay Point Beach, supports the only remnant coastal scrub vegetation left in the local urban area.

The project evolved from general beach and foreshore cleaning by employees, to a community partnership with the Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Association and Sarina Shire Council. The PermaTrak walkways protect the fragile sand dunes adjacent to the terminal and assist with monitoring of turtle nesting. Construction of the walkways also provided training for unemployed youth through the environmental group Green Corps, which was contracted to install the boardwalks.

Survey and geotechnical assessment was undertaken by BMA. No design was required because the PermaTrak system is preengineered. Rocla undertook drafting of the layouts for both boardwalks.

The 1.2m wide boardwalks follow the shape of the undulating dunes, providing a solid footing in the soft and shifting foundation material while minimising damage to established vegetation.

In 2008 the BMA project won the Queensland Clean Beach Challenge, an environmental protection award organised by Keep Australia Beautiful.

(Taken from Rocla – June 2009)

Topics: Boardwalk Durability/Maintenance, Sustainability/Environmentally Friendly