Warrnambool's new boat ramp is now expected to be ready for use in time for the busy summer holiday period with works to start later than first expected, the city council says.
Work on the $1.8 million project is expected to start in mid-to-late July and the recently approved scaled-back dredging program is also set to take place at the same time.
When council first approved the tender for the boat ramp in February, it had hoped work would begin in May and be finished by August/September, but that has now been pushed back about two months.
With works set to kick off within weeks, Warrnambool is edging closer to being able shake off its unenviable title of having the state's worst boat ramp.
"Dredging will be done while the boat ramp construction takes place and will also be completed well in advance of the busy summer peak," the council said.
Council will liaise with the surf club to ensure the best possible timing of the dredging activity.- Warrnambool City Council
"Council will liaise with the surf club to ensure the best possible timing of the dredging activity."
Former councillor David Owen had raised concerns about the dumping of dredging spoils and said creating a sandbar out the front of the caravan park during summer could mean lifesavers might have to set up other patrols just in case people decided to "take off on these shallow drops".
The cost of the dredging program blew out with the $1 million the government allocated to the project to cover just over half the work needed.
Only 20,000 cubic metres of sand will be removed instead of 35,000 as planned unless the council can secure more money to fund the extra work.
While the council had been given $3.5 million to spend on the new boat ramp, costs came in lower than expected and the city now hopes to use some of the leftover cash on more dredging rather than more upgrades around the harbour.
The company building the new boat ramp in Warrnambool is the same one that has almost finished construction of the $2.5 million boat ramp upgrade at Lake Bullen Merri which is expected to be completed mid-year.
Underwater retaining walls and a concrete ramp are being installed at the iconic crater lake as well as a new turning circle.
The upgrade also includes a new centrally-located pontoon to make it easier to tie up and access boats.
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