SPILL: Awoonga Dam during the January 2013 floods
SPILL: Awoonga Dam during the January 2013 floods Brenda Strong

Major upgrade at Lake Awoonga cuts risk

A MAJOR upgrade at Lake Awoonga undertaken over winter has given property owners in the lower reaches of the Boyne River added security.

The saddle dams, which are the safety nets in case of massive floods to prevent damage to the dam, have been upgraded to provide greater control of water flows.

Saddle dam 3, originally set to overflow at 47.9 metres, has been raised to 52m, while saddle dam 6, 3km north-west of saddle dam 3, will now carry the spill at a level of 50.7m.

The upgrade was in response to the one-in-200-year flood in January 2013 when the dam's main spillway overflowed by four metres and endangered several properties downstream.

Contractor Golding's principal engineer Grant Christensen said the public could now rest easy knowing there was extra security.

"We heard second-hand that GAWB (Gladstone Area Water Board) had received public concerns and enquiries around it," he said.

"The benefit is that the controlled flow will now give locals the added security of peace of mind with the additional flood capacity.

"While there are not too many people living adjacent to the dam, the last few years have brought a heightened awareness of flooding and it's been a really sensitive and emotive issue."

Work began in August this year with the clearing at saddle dam 6, the construction of a new haulage road between saddle dams 3 and 6 and the excavation and preparation.

GAWB CEO Jim Grayson said the construction, and its short completion time, was a great outcome.

The main part of the construction work and flood-mitigation is finished, with late January set to be the official completion date.



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