Byron Shire Council is preparing to start work on the restoration of the rail corridor in the centre of Byron Bay.
The aim of the project is to open up the area between Lawson St and the new bus interchange to create a pedestrian and cycling link across the town centre and make what is currently a run-down, unused area accessible to the community.
Plans include the creation of a boardwalk and pathways from Butler Street and the western side of the rail corridor, into the town centre and Railway Park.
“This rail corridor restoration project is a critical piece of the puzzle in upgrading the entire rail precinct to improve circulation to, from and through the town centre,” Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, said.
“It is important for people to understand that the rail track/line will remain in place, but the area will be open for the community to walk and ride through, and spend time in,” Mayor Richardson said.
“In fact the project will involve the restoration of the heritage features of the area and celebrate the rail history of the town,” he said.
The rail corridor project sits within a precinct that incorporates Railway Park, the Byron Bus interchange, the Byron Bay bypass, the Visitor Information Centre and the two carparks – it is the arrival point for visitors and the ‘heart’ of the town centre for the local community.
“Collectively, these projects represent over $40 million of infrastructure investment in the heart of Byron Bay – an investment that is unprecedented in the town,” said Mayor Simon Richardson.
“These projects are a direct result of the work, planning and robust discussions that we had as a community to come up with the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan,” he said.
“It is a credit to that process, and to the Byron Masterplan Guidance Group which is working with Council to guide the roll out of these significant projects that will fundamentally change the way people experience our town.”
“The basis for improvements to the precinct is to recognise that while Byron Bay is a tourist town our desire to create and revitalise public spaces is driven by recognition that our community is our number one priority and we want to see locals out walking, talking and catching up in their town, their home,” Mayor Richardson said.
Construction in the corridor will begin in late March and is expected to be completed by the end of June this year.
The next project to be delivered from the Masterplan is the Byron Skate Park and Recreation Hub which is currently in its detailed design phase.