Deepening at the Entrance represented the most challenging part of the port’s Channel Deepening Project, as this is one of the most turbulent and dangerous stretches of water in the Bass Strait. The four-year project involved unprecedented scientific research, combined with rigorous refinement of dredging technology and work methods to reduce environmental impacts.
Under the project’s environmental management plan (EMP), clean-up operations are ongoing and surveying and monitoring of the site will continue for a period of ten years. “Assessments of deep reef habitats are outlined in the EMP using diver-operated video as well as a remotely operated vehicle. Tides at specific locations will also be monitored,” explained Bradford.
To date, about 47% of the overall dredging volume has been completed and the project remains on schedule for completion by the end of 2009. As planned, dredging activities will now be suspended for a period of three months to avoid disruption during Victoria’s peak tourism season, and the two main dredging vessels have left for Singapore for maintenance.