Construction of a new walking trail connecting Castle Hill to the central business district is well-advanced, with the completed trail set to open soon.
Mayor Jenny Hill said the new walkway would link the existing public carpark located at the western end of Walker Street to Jones Street Reservoir located above ‘The Cutting’ carpark.
From this location there is also a new track connecting to the existing Maidenhair Track and on to the Goat Track.
The $1.24 million trail project is being delivered in partnership with the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), which has provided half the funding, with Council providing the remainder.
It is one of three projects being undertaken on Castle Hill through the partnership between Council and the Building Better Regions Fund.
The Australian Government and Council are each contributing 50 per cent towards the $3.6 million total cost of building the trail and a multi-use events space and installing permanent light infrastructure for the highly popular HALO event.
“Castle Hill is a much-loved landmark in our city, with tens of thousands of locals and tourists climbing it each year to enjoy the spectacular view or to exercise,” Cr Hill said.
“This new pedestrian link between Castle Hill and the CBD means we are delivering yet another way for locals and tourists alike to explore and enjoy the hill.
“Council had anticipated this new track would be open sooner, however the project presented a number of complex engineering challenges that required innovative thinking and solutions.”
Further geotechnical studies initiated once the project was awarded identified instability in the rockface. This required a rethink of the design and additional remediation works to ensure this important structure would be anchored appropriately.
“The fact is we are building an asset for the community that will be in use for the next 50 plus years and it is our job to ensure we don’t compromise on safety and quality,” Cr Hill said.
“We acknowledge the community are keen to see the stairs open and thank them for their understanding.
“I have no doubt the connection will become a popular access point for the trails and experiences on Castle Hill.”