City of Newcastle Council will shortly commence work to reinstate permanent road infrastructure on the former Newcastle 500 track.
Planning for the first stage of work on the roundabouts at the intersection of Watt Street and Wharf Road, as well as the intersection of Zaara Street and Shortland Esplanade, is underway with onsite works scheduled to commence this financial year.
The removable infrastructure at these two key intersections will be replaced with permanent roundabouts.
Deputy Lord Mayor, Declan Clausen said the staged restoration works would enhance the safety and accessibility of Newcastle’s East End and along Foreshore Park.
“We are replacing the removable elements with permanent structures and completing road improvements that will further enhance the safety and amenity of the areas and improve accessibility for pedestrians,” Cr Clausen said.
“Re-installing permanent infrastructure demonstrates to the community that after four successful Newcastle 500 events, which delivered an estimated economic output for the city of $36 million per event, City of Newcastle has responded to community feedback and is committed to moving in a different direction going forward.
“The Newcastle 500 successfully achieved what it had intended to, in delivering unparalleled national and international exposure for our city and, as the city’s largest ever event, showcased Newcastle’s ability to host significant major events.
“It has since led to the city cementing its reputation as a premier tourism and major events destination, including by helping attract acts like Pink, Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, and festivals such as Groovin the Moo, and we look forward to continuing to secure new events as a key economic and tourism driver for the region.”
The road and traffic restoration works will include the installation of permanent raised pedestrian crossings throughout the East End precinct, with updated signage and linemarking to improve safety, visibility, and enhance accessibility for pedestrians throughout the precinct.
The road infrastructure is owned by the Council and therefore the first stage of work will be funded from Council’s 2024 capital works budget with the second stage to be included in the upcoming 2024/25 capital works program, which will be placed on public exhibition in April, said Cr Clausen.
Work to remediate Camp Shortland will be undertaken separately given the ownership complexity of the area. Camp Shortland is owned by the NSW Government with no lease in place to City of Newcastle. Despite this, the Council is responsible for the remediation under a direction from Heritage NSW.
Concept plans for remediation of the site were sent to Heritage NSW last year. Feedback was recently provided and Council says it will consider this once the prioritised stage one road infrastructure works are complete.