Works to improve safety along a hazardous stretch of the Gladstone-Benaraby Road are now complete, paving the way for construction of Gladstone’s Offline Water Storage Facility.

Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) Chief Operating Officer, Mr John Tumbers, said the intersection upgrade at the corner of Gladstone-Benaraby and Skyhill Ring Roads was a condition of approval for the organisation’s $29 million Offline Water Storage Facility.

“The intersection works included the installation of dedicated turning lanes from the north and the south into Skyring Hill Road and improving the line of sight to the south,” Mr Tumbers said.

“We’re pleased that the works were completed without incident and ahead of schedule and I’m sure the 10,900 daily users of this stretch of road are also pleased to see the upgrade complete”.

The upgrade of the intersection, valued at $705,000, was a pre-requisite for approval for construction of the Offline Water Storage Facility, located in the valley below the Toolooa Water Reservoir, to be granted.

The Offline Storage Facility will provide a reserve water storage close to Gladstone, significantly reducing the risk of supply interruptions in the region.

Mr Tumbers said clearing of the Offline Storage site has been completed, with Golding Contractors now working on bulk earthworks associated with the construction of the embankment, spillway and pump station.

“The facility will operate the same way a dam does, using the surrounding hills and dam wall to hold water; the difference being that this facility is designed to hold water, not collect water from a catchment.

“Once complete in about 16 months’ time, the facility will be filled from the Lake Awoonga supply and maintained at a nearly full capacity ready for use”.

The storage facility will have the capacity to supply approximately two weeks of raw water to the Gladstone region, which will also allow sufficient time to conduct essential maintenance works at the ageing Awoonga Dam Pump Station.

Much of the mechanical equipment at Lake Awoonga is over 25 years old and will require longer periods of time offline for inspection and maintenance in the coming years.

More information on the Offline Water Storage Facility can be found on GAWB’s website, http://www.gawb.qld.gov.au/