Kangaroo Bay Ferry Terminal
Kangaroo Bay Ferry Terminal survey by Clifton Townsend
On Sunday the 5th, January 1975 the ship Lake Illawarra hit the Tasman Bridge removing a large section of the bridge causing chaos for commuters and services. I had crossed this bridge earlier that night returning to the HEC chalet at Strathgordon, next morning I heard the grim news, and thinking I was lucky to have made a safe crossing that night. Later that week I received a phone call from the Chief Surveyor John Linton asking me return back to Head Office in Hobart as soon as possible for a briefing, to carry out urgent survey work required for installing a new ferry terminal at Kangaroo Bay Bellerive. Meanwhile HEC Engineers, Surveyors, Draftsmen, had prepared plans and set out details I would use to execute this new ferry terminal in the field, working with The Marine Board and other service contractors.
I was a little nervous starting this new project as there was a lot happening around me, hundreds of ferry commuters coming and going constantly in the new work zone including a lot of boats and ferries on the water, strong winds, large fluctuations between high and low tides, noise, slight to rough seas at times, using a 3.5m aluminium dinghy as a tool of trade, working as a team with the Marine Board and other contractors. I was supported by a new Chainman Paul Richards; I thought this job could be hell if Paul is not up to speed with the knowledge required for good surveying practices. To my surprise Paul had the necessary surveying training and proved to be a good survey assistant, we worked in a very professional way together with a lot of enthusiasm working 12 hour days or longer if required for a couple of weeks.
First stage on the job was to install good permanent control baselines and levels traversing from the co-ordinated points given on the set out plans provided. This would allow things to run smoothly as everything would be fixed to those lines and levels indefinitely.
On site was a large painted blue Marine Board barge named Kowara, to my surprise did not have an engine and was towed or winched between pile driving points. I thought this is going to be interesting when we survey the first dolphin for pile driving, how will they control it! The foreman said make sure you get the surveyed position right the first time, because when we drop the pile it will sink about 6m into the mud and may be impossible to move or reposition, nothing like putting the pressure on.
The survey work involved surveying for the new wharf with 4 large galvanised steel (I) beams running parallel all the way out to carry the decking and weight of pedestrians and other goods.
Install number of dolphins, main ferry terminal building and other essential services power, water, paths.
The ferry terminal was built professionally and quickly, worked efficiently for 2 years without any incidents until the Tasman Bridge reopened on the 8 October 1977.
Soon after the main wharf superstructure was removed to make way for the new Marina.
This January 2015 it will be 40th, anniversary for Kangaroo Bay ferry terminal.
Remaining ferry terminal building is getting into disrepair from rust and other weather elements, currently being used by boating enthusiasts.
Accompanying photographs show the remaining ferry terminal in its present state August 2014.