Machans Beach seawall reconstruction

Council awarded the contract for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Machans Beach seawall reconstruction project and works have been underway since April 2014. This component of works are expected to be complete in December 2014.

Council has also decided to proceed to tender for the final Stage 3 of the seawall construction, ie. the remaining 400 metres. This will enable Stage 3 to continue immediately on from the current Stage 1 and 2 project with expected completion of the entire seawall by end of June 2015. 

Please refer to Related Documents for an update on the works to date.

The Machans Beach seawall is unstable and susceptible to collapse. A new seawall will be constructed over a two-year project, starting in March 2014.

Fencing has been erected to prevent access to the seawall. This fence will remain in place until the new seawall is complete.

Residents and visitors are asked to stay clear of the seawall at all times. People can be seriously injured if the seawall collapsed while they were in the vicinity.

Works schedule

It is planned to complete reconstruction works over a two-year period. 

  • Stage 1 and Stage 2: March to December 2014
  • Stage 3: July to December 2015. 

Rocks will be placed to form a stable, flatter rock-face extending about 15 metres out to sea from the existing wall. (The new seawall design is available from Related Documents on the right).

There will be considerable disruptions during construction. These include:

  • Temporary beach closures and no fishing or boat access within the Stage 1 and Stage 2 reconstruction area 
  • Temporary road closures and some traffic delays on O'Shea Esplanade
  • Noise and dust 
  • Significant heavy vehicle movements into Machans Beach from the quarry.

Stage 1 and Stage 2

Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 will now be reconstructed in 2014 (originally it was expected that one third of the seawall would be reconstructed each year over a 3-year period, ie. Stage 1: Mar 2014 - Sep 2014; Stage 2: Mar 2015 - Sep 2015; Stage 3: Mar 2016 – Sep 2016). 

Stage 1 and Stage 2 extends from Barr Creek at the far northern point, 900 metres south along O'Shea Esplanade. It is expected that it will take around nine months to complete this section.

Unfortunately existing trees and palms along the foreshore will need to be removed because of their proximity to the work site and the associated risk of the trees becoming unstable or roots being damaged. Council will limit vegetation removal as much as possible and will replace trees being removed. 

Rock will be delivered and stockpiled via Marshall St at the Airservices Australia site at the northern side of the suburb. Vehicles will then access the beachfront in the vicinity of the vacant property at 259 O'Shea Esplanade. 

To allow machinery access to reconstruct the wall, a rock ramp down to the beach will be constructed at the far northern end of the Esplanade. The new permanent rock toe wall will then be constructed approximately 10 to 15 metres out to sea from the existing rock seawall. The 7 metre wide rock toe is to be constructed in the seabed for the 900 metre length of the work. 

A continuous temporary rock work platform will be built on top of the toe to allow machinery to access and work above high tide. Removal of the old seawall and immediate construction of the new sloping rock wall will then be completed in sections with work generally proceeding from the southern end first, moving progressively north.

To reduce the adverse effects of movement, associated cracking and maintenance costs, access stairs to the beach are proposed to be aluminium instead of concrete.

Working hours will be Mondays to Fridays 7am to 6pm and Saturdays 7am to 1pm however from time to time, work on Saturdays may extend to 6pm. It is unlikely that nightworks will be required however, there may be opportunities to take advantage of ideal working conditions when there are low tides. If so, nightworks under flood lights will be limited to a maximum of 2 nights each month.

Council would like to thank you for your patience and cooperation while this major infrastructure improvement project is underway. We realise that there will be significant implications for Machans Beach residents throughout the lengthy project timeframe however the new seawall will provide increased protection of the foreshore, roadway and adjacent properties against storm and tidal actions.

Further information

For further information about the project, please refer to Related Documents. If you have any other questions about the project, please contact Council on (07) 4044 3303 or email feedback@cairns.qld.gov.au.


Consultation level: Inform