WORK has begun to replace the dilapidated Wangi Wangi jetty as part of a series of boating infrastructure upgrades on Lake Macquarie.
More than $3 million will be spent across four separate projects in coming months as Lake Macquarie council replaces jetties at Wangi Wangi and Speers Point and installs new pontoons at Rathmines and Valentine.
The Wangi Wangi jetty upgrade has been years in the making and comes more than two years after majority of the jetty was closed due to concerns for public safety.
A Lake Macquarie landmark for about half a century, with yachts and powerboats berthing alongside the jetty to access Wangi Wangi RSL Club and the town centre, the closure of the main jetty in 2017 was a significant blow to the local community.
The $1.38 million replacement, which will be 26 metres longer and is expected to be opened in "early 2020", is part-funded by $717,057 from the NSW government's Boating Now program.
The three other projects also received grants through the program to help fund the Lke Macquarie City Council-coordinated works
Speers Point jetty will be replaced at a cost of $1.43 million with a NSW government grant of $557,014 and the remainder by council.
Work is expected to begin on the project next month and involve the demolition of the existing jetty, the construction of a new modern structure and the installation of access ramps, service pedestals, and utilities such as lighting and water outlets.
The jetty will be closed until work is completed early next year and boat users are encouraged to use the nearby jetty at Warners Bay.
NSW Maritime executive director Mark Hutchings said floating pontoons and access gangways would also be installed at existing boat ramps at Bennett Park in Valentine and at Rathmines Park in coming months.
"Lake Macquarie is the jewel in the crown of the Hunter boating community and this work will help to provide the best possible boating facilities," he said.
"These projects demonstrate how the NSW government and local government can work together to provide boating infrastructure the community can enjoy."
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said it was pleasing to see work was starting after the two jetties had been out of action for extended periods.
"The Lake Macquarie boating community will again have easier and safer access to the lake at both of these popular facilities, as well as the upgraded facilities at the Valentine and Rathmines boat ramps," she said.
The two pontoons are expected to be ready ahead of summer. Hunter Wharf & Barge has been appointed to carry out the works of all four projects on behalf of council.
Mr Hutchings said $4.3 million had been spent by Transport for NSW on maritime infrastructure in the Lake Macquarie and Swansea electorates since 2015.