Ageing inner-city infrastructure in Townsville’s CBD will soon undergo a staged $43 million upgrade to support the inner-city’s revival with the award of a major design contract.

Townsville City Council will complete the utility infrastructure project over the next four years to upgrade the water storage and approximately 12km of underground water and sewerage pipework, some of which is 60 years old.

GHD have been appointed by the council as design consultant for the upgrade.

Jose Foruria, GHD’s North Queensland Manager, says the company has a long history of delivering water infrastructure design projects in the region and looks forward to supporting the city’s ongoing growth.

“GHD has been in Townsville since 1972 and our water services team for this project is comprised largely of long-term local residents. Our knowledge of the area, and the water and sewerage infrastructure will be invaluable as the project progresses,” Jose says.

“Constructability, and minimising the impact on the local residents and businesses will be key factors in this project. We will be working closely with Council to determine the most practical way of delivering the works,” he says.

“Our team recognises the complexity of this project. We will be adopting an approach that is flexible, adaptable, insightful, robust and responsive in order to deliver a balanced project outcome for Townsville.

“We are pleased to be working alongside Council on this project, and look forward to helping to deliver an improved water and sewerage network for the Townsville community.”

Townsville City Council has set aside $7 million in this year’s budget to kick start the project with the construction of a 32 mega litre reservoir in West End, and detailed design.

Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said the project was essential to support the city’s target of reaching 30,000 people working and living in the CBD by 2030.

“The revitalisation of the CBD will play a significant role in Townsville’s economic future and the city’s growth as a northern capital,” Cr Hill said.

“As the city grows, we need to ensure the capacity of the city’s basic services grows too to meet the new demand.

“Construction works will be scheduled and staged to minimise disruption to CBD residents and businesses as much as possible.

“The council has been undertaking major upgrades of water and sewerage infrastructure right across Townsville to support growth and the focus of that program will now also include the CBD where some underground services have already outlived their serviceable life.”

Cr Gartrell said the upgrade would improve the capacity and efficiency of basic services to residents and businesses.

“The present water and sewerage network infrastructure in the Townsville CBD is up to 60 years old and will not be able to meet the water supply needs of our future population,” he said.

“To support thousands more workers and residents in the CBD the upgrade has to be done but it will be carried out over a number of financial years to ease the upfront cost.

“A major priority in the design phase, is for the council’s management team and GHD to come up with the most practical way of delivering the project and at the same time minimising the impacts of the associated excavations.”

The council also plans to include upgrades of stormwater drainage and footpaths as part of the project. Cr Hill said council would approach other service providers to consider installing infrastructure underground as part of the project.

“The project team will approach organisations such as Ergon, Telstra and the NBN to offer them the opportunity to install infrastructure while the works are underway,” Cr Hill said.

“Not only will this save them significant cost in excavation and road restoring but it will make our CBD considerably more resilient during storm events.”

Residents will see construction work associated with early works at the new water reservoir commence in West End later this year. Some minor excavation or ‘pot-holing’ activity in the CBD is also likely to begin later in the year as design work is finalised.

Project work will be staged to minimise the impact to parking and pedestrian access. Council will consult with residents, local business and key stakeholders associated with the project during the design and construction works. Townsville City Council will manage the project.

Construction and other contracting businesses will be appointed as the project progresses.

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