The first stage of works to construct a brand new footpath and cycleway ‘shared path’ along Balemo Drive, Ocean Shores, got underway this week, thanks to $303,900 grant funding from the NSW Government’s Connecting Centres program.
“There’s around 900m of shared path being constructed in the first stage and we’re aiming to have this finished by the end of June,” Council’s Director of Infrastructure, Phil Holloway, said.
“The long-term vision is to attract grant funding for the second stage, so we can complete the whole 2.5km length of Balemo Drive to greatly improve connectivity in this area and with other shared paths in Ocean Shores as well as local parks, Ocean Shores Shopping Centre, the Community Centre, the Brunswick Heads bike path and Billinudgel,” he said.
“We’ve submitted grant applications and hope we can get this job done for the Ocean Shores community as soon as possible.
“Having a shared path for walking and rolling that also enables off-road cycling is of major benefit to people of all ages and it means you can leave the car at home sometimes and walk, roll or ride to your destination.
“It will be a game changer for this street and neighbourhood,” Mr Holloway said.
“We have started works a little further north in the street than initially indicated while we work with community members concerned with aspects of the new path’s design at the southern end near Orana Road.
“In particular, we will be consulting local community groups further about the path’s southern connection through park land,” Mr Holloway said.
Meanwhile, Council has written to and is door-knocking home-owners and residents with properties that front on to the new path, and who will be directly impacted by the construction works, as well as those near the works areas.
“During the construction we may be required to regrade some existing driveways in the road reserve and some people will lose access to their driveway for around five days to allow the concrete to set properly,” he said.
Some gardens and letterboxes in the Council-owned road reserve may need to be moved or realigned to accommodate the new path.
“If vegetation and trees do need to be removed, Council works to a very strict set of guidelines under the expertise of an independent ecologist and arborist.
“We’re not expecting any road closures during these works but when driveway regrading is required, the road may be reduced to single lane access and our crews will provide traffic management during these times,” Mr Holloway said.