Monday, April 22, 2024

New Byron rail corridor on track for opening

The fences are set to come down on Byron Bay’s new $1.2 million rail corridor, revealing Council’s newest park.

The corridor has been fenced off and inaccessible to the public since train services stopped in 2004.

“Thanks to Council and the community’s vision to open up the corridor and revitalise the space for public use, we secured management of the site in 2018 and have been working with the Byron Masterplan Guidance Group on design and construction ever since,” Byron Shire Council Mayor, Michael Lyon said today.

“What has been achieved through this shared vision is a beautiful, functional public space with shady grassy areas, native gardens and plenty of seating plus boardwalks and pathways so you can now walk from the centre of town to the Butler Street transport precinct.

“Recent upgrades of the rail station building and rail infrastructure mean the whole corridor is now looking fantastic and I can’t wait for people to check it out and enjoy it,” he said.

He said the Byron Masterplan Guidance group had been critical in articulating the vision for the space.

The upgraded Rail Corridor space runs along the railway lines from Lawson St to the new bus interchange.

Key features of the project include:

• Shady grassy areas and landscaped native gardens;

• Public seating and water refill stations;

• Boardwalks providing safe connection from Butler Street precinct to the centre of town;

• Lighting at key access points for improved safety;

• Memento Aestates sculpture by artist Giovanni Veronesi;

• Retention of rail infrastructure and celebration of heritage rail features such as signal boxes and switching gear;

• New shared zone through Byron Lane (now one way out) for pedestrian safety;

• Carpark upgrades.

Mayor Lyon said the opening up of the corridor would provide much-needed connection between key sites in the town centre, including the new bus interchange, Railway Park and up to Lawson St, as well as connecting the Arts and Industrial Estate cycleway to the town centre.

The corridor upgrade is a project from The Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan and is a key step to achieving the ‘cars out, people in’ vision for the community – by removing the barrier to east-west pedestrian and cycle movement and providing an opportunity for people to leave their cars out of town, he said.

“We have been working very closely in partnership with the NSW Government over the past few years to deliver over $40m of infrastructure investment in this rail precinct.”

“This is an unprecedented investment in infrastructure in Byron Bay, with a really tangible outcome. It shows what can be achieved when the community comes together to articulate a clear vision and a commitment to seeing it realised.

“We would like to thank the businesses, particularly along Jonson St, for their patience during the construction period and encourage the community to have a look through the shops, grab a bite to eat and take their picnic to the new space to soak it in,” Mayor Lyon said.

The rail corridor will be opened to the public on Saturday, 23 October.

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