21 December 2023

Popular Thirroul picnic spot to be back in action over summer: Wollongong Council

| Zoe Cartwright
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The new stormwater outlet at Thirroul Reserve.

The new stormwater outlet at Thirroul Reserve. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

A popular picnic spot will make a return over the holidays, as works wrap up on the replacement of an ageing stormwater outlet and access stairs at the southern end of Thirroul Beach.

Construction on the $1.5 million project began in spring and a Wollongong City Council spokesperson said it would be finished ahead of the busy summer period.

Once work has finished, fencing will remain in place for a short time to give the grass a chance to become established.

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Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said the project was part of the council’s work to improve and maintain the city’s stormwater drainage system and identified in the Wollongong Coastal Zone Management Plan.

“The existing structure was originally built in the 1940s and had reached the end of its useful life,” Cr Bradbery said.

“The time had come to replace the outlet and access stairs.

“At times, it has been a pretty dramatic looking worksite with excavations to a depth of almost four metres in some spots.

“However, with the new stairs in place and work on the new outlet completed, things are looking good.

“The outlet will help to manage the flow of stormwater during heavy rain.’’

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The full scope of works included the demolition of the existing drainage outlet chamber and pedestrian access stairs.

The new outlet had to be built set back from the current position to mitigate the possibility of rough seas undermining the foundations.

Rock armour protection was also built on each side of the new headwall. This looks similar to the existing protection on the southern side of the outlet.

New concrete pedestrian access stairs were built about 30 m north of the new headwall and align with existing stairs to the grassed area.

A section of the existing concrete seawall was fortified to stabilise the area.

The council spokesperson said the council would like to acknowledge the technical and financial support provided for the project through the NSW Government’s Coastal Management Program.

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