Planned in 2016 and promised in 2018, Echuca’s port is finally getting its new wall in 2020

By Daneka Hill

THE retaining wall to hold up the bank that was once overlooked by Oscar W's is officially open for tender.

The wall will cost an estimated $500,000 and Campaspe Shire Council expects construction to begin in April 2020 once a contractor is found.

At 65 m long, the wall works out to be costing ratepayers $7693 per metre.

Campaspe Shire infrastructure services general manager Jason Deller said the wall would provide a stable location for future developments on the site of the current pop-up park, protected from the rise and fall of the Murray River.

“The existing pop-up park site will be fenced off during construction, however it will be restored to its current state once the project is complete,” Mr Deller said.

“The Port of Echuca is an important asset for our region and these works are vital to ensure the site is preserved for future generations.”

In December 2018 the Riverine Herald reported the wall’s construction was expected to begin in early March 2019 and be completed by June 2019.

When asked about the almost year-long delay Mr Deller said the process of acquiring permits to build on the historical site was more complex and “took longer than anticipated”.

“The riverbank was destabilised after floods and storms in mid-2016,” Mr Deller said.

After an engineer’s report found the existing retaining wall was structurally compromised and endangering the building adjacent to it, the council demolished the building.

“Council decided to initiate the process as soon as possible to offer the community a park to enjoy rather than an unusable building,” Mr Deller said.

The new retaining wall will be a concrete and steel structure clad with timber fascia boards to maintain the historical appearance of the port.

Campaspe Shire Council said the port and wharf would remain open throughout the project, with all scheduled events to continue.

It will take about three months for the wall to be completely built.