A DREDGING contract worth $70 million has been awarded to dredging company Maritime Constructions to maintain harbour depths along the Western Australian coast.

The long-term contract intends to ensure safe navigation depths for the state’s commercial and recreational fleet.

Awarded by the WA Department of Transport, the contract will see Maritime Constructions carry out maintenance dredging works across the state’s 38 maritime facilities.

Annual sand bypassing at the Dawesville and Mandurah ocean entrances, which mechanically moves sand to mimic coastal processes and provide safe navigation, will also be undertaken by the company.

The contact will remain in place for the next six years, with the option for a four-year extension.

Transport minister Rita Saffioti said the contract is one if the biggest and longest the Department of Transport will award.

“The work carried out is absolutely essential to sustaining our maritime and tourism industries,” Ms Saffioti said.

“The state has 38 maritime facilities and it’s essential we maintain safe navigational depths and access to the open ocean, including for emergency services.

“This is a significant contract that will see Maritime Constructions play an important role helping DoT to keep people safe on the water and provide well maintained maritime facilities to empower a thriving community across WA.”

Maritime Constructions is a South Australian company with a base in Fremantle

The Department of Transport said the long-term contract also has continuity of service and scheduling benefits for its maintenance dredging program, along with cost efficiencies with the contractor expected to complete between eight and 10 projects each year.

The project is expected to create 16 metropolitan and 10 regional jobs.