Why Clyde Street car park will be worth wait

Kempsey Shire Council

An Architect's render of Clyde Street car park

It is due to reopen shortly, but if you have wondered why the work on Clyde Street car park has taken so long, you are not alone, but you probably didn’t realise that the answer is water. While two flood events, one in December and the greater event in March caused significant delays, a majority of the crucial work on the car park precinct has happened below ground to secure our water into the future.

A year ago this week, work commenced on the upgrade of the Clyde Street car park and amenities. With the allocation of funds in Council’s 2020-21 Operational Plan, the comprehensive $700,000 project to renew the area commenced.

On street level, the project set about replacing the ageing public toilet, including its infamous musical backgrounds and the complex car park, while also creating safer links to surrounding businesses for pedestrians and easier access for vehicles. This was in response to extensive community and business engagement that had sought the revitalisation.

Crucially however, digging up such a significant area of the CBD enabled Council to gain access to major water mains and water infrastructure. It was a rare opportunity to replace vital, ageing infrastructure.

In the first months of the project, Council’s water and sewer teams replaced 150 metres of water mains and renewed 12 water connections to buildings within the Clyde Street car park area.

Kempsey Shire Council Manager Infrastructure Delivery Dylan Reeves thanked the community for supporting local businesses and using nearby alternative car parks during the project.

“We said from the outset that this car park and amenities renewal will deliver great things and that remains the case, and we are so grateful for the community’s patience” said Mr Reeves.

“Unfortunately, it is a time consuming process to deliver a complete revitalisation of the space, from the water mains up. The benefits for doing this properly will be felt for decades, as the very centre of our CBD will literally be built on great foundations and the water that is our lifeblood will be secured.”

Council received funding for $225,000 from the NSW Government under the Stronger Country Communities Fund for the Clyde Street Car Park project.

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