At just after 10am this morning a loud cracking explosion signalled the removal of part of a section of stone which had been obstructing the completion of the Nelly to Picnic Bay walkway. .
The road-facing side was partially blown from the remaining Sentinel - a granite monolith which frames the first views of Nelly Bay when approaching from the south.
A worker at the site this morning said he thought that it would probably be necesary to make a second charge to remove the lower rock which had remained intact.
The work will make space for the completion of the $1.2M walkway from Nelly to Picnic Bay.
The Sentinel has been the subject of community concern (click here) since drilling (which has been left uncompleted for many months) began on the face as far back as November 2006.
The monolith was originally one of two tors which, prior to the construction of the road in the 1950s, created a monumental landmark along the previous track.
The original Sentinels
Islanders have been concerned that the disfigurement of the rock face would lessen the aesthetic values of the very prominent stone and, just prior to the public opening of a newly completed section of the walkway in April 2007 by former Townsville Mayor Tony Mooney, the rock was graffitied with the words, "leave me".
Graffiti on the Sentinel last year.
To add your comment, see below
Sentinel face blown
I would say residents and including tourists who are wanting this walkway completed have no alternative but to have part of this rock removed to enable the constuction of the walkway. This walkway is long overdue and I wish it had of been completed when I lived on the Island as the walk to Picnic Bay along this stretch is quite dangerous having had a previous Newsagent owner falling down the embankment and breaking her leg.
Vandals. What nonsense to say the path could not be completed without destroying such a well know landmark. Are people so stupid they can't look out for a car before they pass by? it's behaviour indicative of how suburban and mediocre this place has become.
Does anyone know what is planned for the top of the hill? The preparations already scratched there suggest something enormous.
It's a done deal now, but it's a shame the path could not have gone around, behind, over the rock instead of defacing it. The photo of the original 2 monoliths from years gone by look so good and balanced and natural. What a shame!
Maggie, you have now gone completely stupid, Is nothing of value anymore? What is next? Sail Rock at Nelly? Once you start & you have long ago started with the safe marina, there are no brakes.