Work gets underway for formalised parking, footpath improvements, boardwalk and observation deck at Clifton

THE plans for the next phase of works on the Grand Pacific Walk at Clifton are underway.

Starting early November, Wollongong City Council crews will be on the ground to complete a number of planned upgrades.

The project is extensive and includes road works, new drainage structures, the construction of formalised parking, footpath improvements, works to build an elevated boardwalk and a new observation deck.

The project is a key link within the long-term Grand Pacific Walk plan, and the end result will be in keeping with previous phases of works.

The intention of the Grand Pacific Walk is to make it easier and safer for people to travel along the coast between the Royal National Park and Lake Illawarra. It will also greatly improve safety of pedestrians and drivers parking alongside the narrow road.

The estimated finish time for the project is mid-2023, depending on favourable weather conditions. Council will pause work during school holidays to reduce the impact of construction on residents.

To make it safer for parked cars to re-enter traffic along Lawrence Hargrave Drive the parking will be reconfigured nose to kerb along a small portion of the road, south of the Imperial Hotel. This work will formalise four parallel parking spaces and one accessible parking space. These changes will see the loss of a number of informal parking spaces.

At the same time, expansion of car parking opportunities on nearby Council land will be investigated.

So far, Council has completed a substantial amount of works along the section between Coalcliff and Stanwell Park.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the next stage of works would extend the pathway from the Sea Cliff Bridge past the recently reopened Clifton Hotel.

“Part of this project will also include the construction of a new viewing platform south of the Clifton hotel,” Cr Bradbery said.

“This will offer community members and visitors to the region with another spot to pause and take in the breathtaking coastal views which are unique to Wollongong.

“The Grand Pacific Walk is a long-term project that aims to improve the walkability of our coastal areas. The existing links already built provide some impressive scenic spots to enjoy views of the coast and escarpment and it’s exciting to be working on another key point.’’

Council general manager, Greg Doyle said the Grand Pacific Walk project will be delivered over a number of years.

Mr Doyle said earlier phases of the work have been popular with the community and tourists, and have made a big difference to the walk and ride ability of the area.

“This project is something that will take many years to complete and to make this a manageable job, we’re tackling it in stages,” Mr Doyle said.

“Part of the challenge is that we need to build many new paths in areas that have steep and narrow terrain. Many sections of the Grand Pacific Walk previously had no existing pathways for pedestrians or cyclists, so it’s been an ongoing challenge for us to negotiate the space. These are ambitious plans for some particularly challenging landscapes when you look at the local terrain.

“Where we can we’re linking the new sections and upgrades with our existing bike tracks and pathways. This will help connect key infrastructure such as train stations and major roads to the Grand Pacific Walk, providing different points for people to access the footpath.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the project has been made possible thanks to $400,000 funding delivered through round seven of the NSW Government’s Resources for Regions program.

Council will be in touch with residents and businesses ahead of the project starting to let them know what to expect while the works are underway. For more information, visit our Grand Pacific Walk webpage.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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