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RUSSELL NEW JETTY PONTOONS BIG MOVE NOW LATE APRIL and $1.8 MILLION CAR PARK WORK TO START The first of the $43 million jetty pontoons for the Southern Bay Islands is now set to be moved to its Russell Island site in late April. The date will coincide with a king tide, which will make the complicated move easier. The entire exercise has been designed to be a ‘plug-in’ affair. The pontoons were built by contractor The Jetty Specialists at their Sunshine Coast headquarters, before moving them to Thornlands where superstructure work has been carried out. When fully completed, the first of four pontoon systems will be floated out to its Russell Island site, linking in with preparatory walkways and marine infrastructure that has been underway for several months. This work will include a new water-side toilet block and jetty entry works. Council Mayor Karen Williams and Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards were taken on a tour of the first of the massive jetty structures at Thornlands just prior to publication. Cr Mark Edwards told The Friendly Bay Islander that both the Russell and Macleay Island pontoons are currently in the final stages of construction in sheds at Aluminium Marine in Thornlands. The Russell Island pontoon is being fitted out with a roof, hand rails and other items before being readied to float to Russell Island at the end of April. The cost to Council and the State Government has amounted to $44.6 million for the SMBI Ferry Terminals Upgrade project. The new terminals will include increased seating, provision for future Wi-Fi, drinking fountains, improved security with lighting and 24-hour video recording, enhanced weather screening, more waiting areas, and wider jetties and gangways for improved accessibility. Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards says the pontoons are ‘enormous’ and are five metres high in some places. He said he was pleased to see the construction phase on Russell Island well underway and looked forward to the future landside works commencing. “Works on Russell Island are in full swing, with stage two of the project awarded in December 2021,” Cr Edwards said. “We also are funding upgrade works to some of the landside facilities adjacent to the terminals, including bus stops, taxi and drop-off zones. “Once the upgrade on the Russell Island pontoon is complete, Council will start work on a $1.8 million upgrade to the car park, which will be significantly larger after Council spent about $250,000 acquiring adjacent properties.”

• Work starts on foreshore and foreshore toilet block on Russell Island

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