The construction of a sweeping walkway that will take pedestrians from the Royal National Park to Lake Illawarra is underway.
The Grand Pacific Walk will be an almost-70 km coastal pathway, improving accessibility and offering spectacular views.
While the project is a long way from completion, the next stage of works at Austinmer is on the horizon, and Wollongong City Council is seeking community feedback on shared path improvements along Lawrence Hargrave Drive.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery AM said completed sections between Coalcliff and Stanwell Park were already well used by residents and visitors, but sections in Austinmer would have to come with trade-offs.
“One of the challenges we face with constructing the Grand Pacific Walk is working within such a constrained environment,” Councillor Bradbery said.
“At many points along the path, we’re working on the cliff edge and there is not a whole lot of space.
“As part of this proposed plan, we need to manoeuvre around existing structures such as power poles and trees. The path may need to widen in some areas to accommodate this.
“We will also need to relocate the existing ‘No Stopping’ signs on the corner of Ocean Parade and Moore Lane, to outside the Austinmer Surf Club. This will result in the loss of nine parking spaces, however, we’re able to install two new parking spaces between Kennedy Road and Oceana Parade.”
The project will be made up of eight sections.
- Section 1 – A new shared path from Mountain Road, past Slade Park, down the hill to the driveway entrance of Austinmer Surf Club on the eastern side of the road. The ”No Stopping” signs on the corner of Ocean Parade and Moore Lane will be relocated to outside the surf club. This will result in the loss of nine parking spaces. Two new parking spaces will be installed between Kennedy Road and Oceana Parade.
- Section 2 – A new viewing area with bench seating at Slade Park, along with a new footpath that will run parallel to 153 Lawrence Hargrave Drive and meet up with the existing walkway.
- Section 3 – Upgrades at the traffic lights at the exit of Knox Park, near The Grove. The council will install wider kerb ramps to accommodate the new shared path. The fence at Knox Park will be relocated to allow for the shared path.
- Section 4 – A new shared path along Lawrence Hargrave Drive to the entrance of Little Austinmer Lane. A new concrete traffic barrier will replace the existing guardrail along the bend near Toxteth Avenue for safety.
- Section 5 – The beach access stairs near Toxteth Avenue will remain but will be modified to suit the new shared path. A new table setting will be installed on the headland.
- Section 6 – The culvert (stormwater channel) fences opposite Glastonbury Garden will be replaced and upgraded with new compliant cycle and pedestrian barrier fencing. Pedestrian beach access will be maintained.
- Section 7 – Little Austinmer Lane will become a 10 km/h shared zone for vehicles and pedestrians. Speed cushions will be spaced along the lane to manage traffic. In Tuckerman Park, the council will install seats.
- Section 8 – The shared path will continue along the western side of Yuruga Street. This will include new driveways, kerbs, gutters and kerb ramps to connect to Headland Avenue. The shared path will then connect with Lawrence Hargrave Drive on the northern side of Headland Avenue. Here, three footpaths will stem from the shared pathway for a section of Headland Avenue to provide access to Pinecourt Park and the tennis courts.
The NSW Government is investing $1.5 million through its Get NSW Active program to fund the shared path upgrade.
To review the proposed plan and provide feedback, head to: Grand Pacific Walk, Austinmer | Our Wollongong (nsw.gov.au)