New KI ferry dredging begins, faces weather delays

Dredging at the port of Cape Jervis began today, Friday, April 13, to deepen the basin and allow the Kangaroo Island Connect ferry service to start service.

But KI Connect managing director David Harris said bad weather forecast for later in the day and the weekend would delay progress.

The dredging operation when fully underway next week was expected to take another three days, with KI Connect hoping to be able conduct some testing with its ferry James Cowell late next week.

The company was keen to start limited, twice-daily service as soon as the basin at the port of Cape Jervis was deep enough. 

Final approvals for the dredging from the Environmental Protection Authority and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) were issued last week.

Mr Harris said 50-tonne, long-reach excavator excavator had been delayed at a previous job at Kangaroo Creek but had now arrived and was ready to start working.

But now the excavator had started digging with its 23-metre arm on Friday morning with officials from the EPA monitoring the operation.

Licensing conditions stipulated that the operation should not increase the turbidity of the water outside the silt curtain by 10 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU).

“To give you some idea, a glass of chardonnay is 1 NTU,” Mr Harris said.

Locals from Cape Jervis had shown great interest and were lining the hill watching the operation.

“Let’s just say there’s been quite a lot of local interest,” he said.

FERRY PORT: A file photo of the basin at the port Cape Jervis where the dredging has started. Photo by District Council of Yankalilla

FERRY PORT: A file photo of the basin at the port Cape Jervis where the dredging has started. Photo by District Council of Yankalilla

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