July 31st 2008
New boardwalk features recycled plastic boards
Long-lasting recycled plastic is giving Magnetic Island residents and tourists a new path to safer island walking, following the completion of the final stage of an elevated boardwalk between Nelly Bay and Picnic Bay.
The final 90 metre section of the $1.68 million Magnetic Island Walkway is made from recycled plastic boards, favoured for their durability and longevity.
The section of boardwalk is also the first of its size in Australia to have a structure made of fibre composite material which is commonly used in boats and made from a mixture of glass and resin.
Both recycled plastic and fibre composite are deemed highly suitable for areas where materials are exposed to the corrosive effects of salt and water.
Townsville Deputy Mayor, Cr David Crisafulli, today inspected the 190 metre boardwalk which was aimed at giving pedestrians a safer off-road path.
"Much of the most difficult terrain between two of the island's most popular bays is now covered by this walkway," Cr Crisafulli said.
"It gives residents and visitors a chance to take in a magical view without having to watch over their shoulder for vehicles."
Cr Crisafulli said using recycled plastic and fibre composite material delivered environmental benefits as well as being more cost-effective in the long run.
"Local governments using these boardwalks in other parts of the country have found the product is still looking like new more than 15 years after they were installed. We certainly expect to achieve several decades of use from these boards," Cr Crisafulli said.
"Another plus is the fact that they're stronger than timber and require much less maintenance, so they'll prove to be a financially smart way to go.
"The fibre composite structure will also provide the same benefits in terms of maintenance and cost."
Magnetic Times sought a comment from Designer and Project Manager Thomas Bank regarding the practice whereby large rocks were detached from the footings area and had slid down the steep slope. Mr Bank indicated that some rocks, which weighed over a tonne, had been lost down the slope but that all of the rocks which could be lifted back with their excavator were retrieved and that they had been mindful to use the smaller stones on the hill to build the embankments where possible. Mr Bank said the company was also careful not to split the natural stones so that when the rain eventually exposed the rocks below their natural shape would remain.
When questioned about the broken remains of the Sentinel stone, which had a part of its face blown off to make room for the walkway, Mr bank said it was not a part of the work his company had been involved with.
The cost of the boardwalk was met by a $1.1 million contribution from the Townsville City Council, $387,000 from the Federal Government, and $195,750 from the Queensland Department of Sport and Recreation. The construction work was carried out by Robinson Civil Contractors.
Photo by George Hirst shows Deputy Mayor Cr David Crisafulli discussing the new boardwalk with designer and Project Manager Thomas Bank fro Robinson Civil Contractors
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