Mayor stays rock solid on granite road
ROCKHAMPTON Mayor Margaret Strelow hopes the Quay St "shared space" will become a centrepiece for the city.
But to create the right atmosphere, she said Rockhampton must be willing to invest in quality.
Rockhampton Regional Council is looking at the cost difference between laying a granite roadway and footpath or a granite roadway and sandstone footpath and has tenders open for contracts to install the stone.
Cr Strelow (pictured) said her preferred option would include Central Queensland sandstone, which she said would work well with other features along the redesigned riverbank.
Council has selected a Queensland-owned and operated firm, Stonespec, to supply granite which they source from Australia and internationally.
The dimensional cutting required to make pavers for the project will be carried out in Stonespec's Chinese manufacturing facility.
Cr Strelow said the decision was made after considerable discussions with Central Queensland Quarries, who said they didn't have the capacity to provide the stone. She said the Chinese facilities were the only ones with the equipment to manufacture the correct pavers.
"We spent quite a long time working with the local granite quarry hoping to be able to use local granite," Cr Strelow said.
The sandstone will be sourced from Capricorn Sandstone Quarries or a council-approved equivalent.
Creating the concrete roadway with granite topping is expected to cost roughly $4 million.
Cr Strelow said there were two other options which would cost less, but compromise on the overall riverbank vision.
If granite was only used on the footpaths, leaving a concrete roadway, council could save $820,000; while if asphalt was used, with no granite elements, $1.36 million could be saved.
The stage one budget is $10.3 million.
Cr Strelow said the stone was "critical" to the redevelopment and would prove a better investment long-term, with less maintenance than asphalt.
"The purpose of this is to create a really high quality space which goes with our high quality buildings," Cr Strelow said.
"In the end it's a very sensible solution. Sometimes it's easy to know the cost of things but not appreciate the value.
"In this case we've really got a value product.
"This is one of those occasions when we really need to insist on the best."