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Surfers Paradise Sand Backpass Pipeline Project

Click to enlargeAerial photo of the sand pumping jetty at The Spit

Aerial photo of the sand pumping
jetty at The Spit

Work is underway to install a 7.8-kilometre pipeline to deliver natural sand from The Spit to protect iconic Surfers Paradise beach from coastal erosion. The Gold Coast's most visited beach is regularly impacted by storms and king tides, compromising foreshore infrastructure and affecting beachgoers.

Once completed, 6.3 kilometres of permanent pipe will run underground and connect to 1.5 kilometres of temporary above-ground pipe. This pipe will funnel sand from the existing Sand Bypass Jetty at The Spit onto the upper beach along Gold Coast northern beaches including Surfers Paradise.

We have been actively working with the Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) which operates the Sand Bypass Jetty. The Sand Bypass Jetty transfers sand to South Stradbroke Island and ensures the Seaway navigation channel is maintained. GCWA are providing a significant contribution to the project by capturing the sand through the Sand Bypass Jetty for the City to transport and allowing us to use and modify their infrastructure.

The pipeline will enable us to conduct annual renourishment campaigns, proactively increasing the resilience of the Gold Coast northern beaches. It complements a 2017 beach nourishment project which replenished Gold Coast beaches with three million cubic metres of sand.

The pipeline has the ability to redirect up to 20 per cent or approximately 120,000 cubic metres of the sand transported via the bypass jetty to South Stradbroke Island each year. The Spit, Main Beach, Narrowneck, Surfers Paradise and South Stradbroke Island shorelines will be monitored to ensure the project has no significant impact on shoreline position.

Independent studies found the project would have no adverse impact on the surfing amenity at The Other Side (TOS) on South Stradbroke Island but will instead work to stabilise the shoreline.

The Surfers Paradise Sand Backpass Pipeline is a long-term investment in maintaining our beaches and supports all outcomes of the Ocean Beaches Strategy 2013–2023

Construction details

The Surfers Paradise Sand Backpass Pipeline will be delivered over two stages:

Stage 1 – Installation of the pipeline from Narrowneck North to View Avenue, Surfers Paradise was completed in July 2020. Some works were undertaken by the City in conjunction with the Surfers Paradise Higman Street Seawall and South Narrowneck Oceanway projects in 2019.

Stage 2 – Scheduled to begin in 2021 with the installation of the remaining pipeline between Narrowneck and the Sand Pumping Jetty at The Spit. It will also involve the connection of the pipeline to the existing bypass system which delivers sand to South Stradbroke Island. These works are due for completion in 2022.

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