Retaining wall going back up

May 19, 2017

THE failing Murray Esplanade retaining wall will be reconstructed.

THE failing Murray Esplanade retaining wall will be reconstructed.

Campaspe Shire Council voted to fix the collapsed wall fronting the Murray River, north of the Echuca Wharf to Riverboat Dock, at council’s meeting on Tuesday night.

The good news is council has chosen the riverside option, meaning the former Oscar W’s building will not be demolished.

But its opening — which the community has been waiting for since its doors closed almost three years ago — has been delayed.

Mayor Adrian Weston said the wall was destabilised from floods and storms in the middle of last year.

‘‘After careful consideration, council chose the riverside recovery option (estimated at $1.5 million), as it posed the least impact on Murray Esplanade stakeholders and would allow retention of the former Oscar W’s building,’’ he said.

‘‘The alternative, the landward side recovery option (estimated at $1.1 million) would have resulted in significant additional costs beyond that of the remediation works; in particular, those associated with the demolition and rebuilding of the existing building.

‘‘The retaining wall works will impact the timing of the revitalisation of the building on the former Oscar W’s site, however, planning for that project is continuing.

‘‘Furthermore, the use of Murray Esplanade as a works site would have meant an increase in heavy traffic and a negative impact on the Port of Echuca tourism precinct for a period of time.’’

The riverside recovery option involves the installation of a ‘‘Manta Ray’’ anchor via a floating river barge which may impact on the operations of the riverboats accessing the wharf and surrounding port area.

‘‘While the riverside recovery option is the most favourable in terms of the overall benefits, it is possible that riverboats may need to be temporarily relocated to another location while the work takes place,’’ Cr Weston said.

‘‘We appreciate this may cause inconvenience; however, restoring the retaining wall to a safe standard must be our first priority to avoid risk of injury to the general public.’’

Council officers are working with the Federal Government to finalise the funding required for this project through the National Disaster Financial Assistance Fund (NDFA).

At the monthly council meeting on Tuesday night councillor Neil Pankhurst said council had received ‘‘in principle support’’ as part of a $1.1 million application.

Cr Pankhurst said council would continue to seek funding for the entire project.

Council could not comment on specific timelines surrounding the retaining wall works because detailed designs have not been completed but said it would know more in the next two months.

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