Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Newcastle riverwall repairs to preserve parkrun route

A shared pathway home to one of the largest parkrun events in Australia will be preserved into the future as part of City of Newcastle Council’s $350,000 investment into the Throsby Creek riverwall.

The Council project will repair a 200m-long section of the rock riverwall at Wickham, ensuring the ongoing stability of the heavily used pathway that runs adjacent to the western bank of Throsby Creek.

The shared pathway provides a key link in the inner-city cycleway and forms part of the 5km-long Newy parkrun course, which is traversed by more than 400 runners and walkers every Saturday morning.

Deputy Lord Mayor, Declan Clausen said the repairs will ensure the riverwall continues to be an environmental, recreational and visual asset valued by all members of our community.

“Moving across the city with ease is important to the liveability of Newcastle, which is why City of Newcastle is investing in pedestrian safety, enhanced accessibility and linked movement within local neighbourhoods,” Cr Clausen said.

“Repairs to the Throsby Creek riverwall will provide stability to the nearby shared pathway, which has been utilised more than 224,000 times by Newy parkrun participants alongside countless cyclists, walkers and café lovers who live and work in the surrounding Wickham, Maryville and Carrington communities.”

The repair work will involve the recovery and reinstallation of the original igneous pink rocks displaced from the wall into the creek waters over time, supplemented by around 210 tonnes of newly sourced rock, which will be used to repair and stablise the riverwall where it had degraded over time.

The project will also provide formalised pedestrian recreation access to the artificial beach on the southern and northern end of the work area.

Works are being delivered for Council by Soil Conservation Services. The Council has worked with local suppliers to gain access to appropriate rock resources, which have been in short supply, delaying the commencement of permanent restoration works.

The original rock wall was delivered more than 20 years ago by a private developer on behalf of the NSW Government. The reconstructed wall will be built to a higher standard, to reduce the likelihood of future councils needing to undertake further restoration, Council said in a statement.

Newy parkrun Co Event Director, Penny Redhead said the Throsby Creek loop was a fantastic resource, with one of the best flat scenic routes Newcastle’s inner-city has to offer.

“Over the past 10 years, Newcastle has experienced a running movement. This is highlighted by the continued growth in participation not only at Newy parkrun but across the 13 parkruns in the Greater Hunter Region,” Ms Redhead said.

“The focus of parkrun is getting people of all ages, shapes, and abilities together as a community to move continuously, at their pace, for 5km. With the riverwall repairs, the shared pathway will be safer and more accessible for everyone including parkrun.

“Even on non-parkrun days it’s great to see the volume and variety of people enjoying the path, demonstrating real respect and courtesy amongst all users.”

The project is being delivered as part of Council’s citywide creek rehabilitation program, which is designed to improve our blue green grid, through revegetating riparian vegetation, stabilising creek beds, reducing bank erosion, improving water quality, and enhancing amenity for local communities.

Council says it will invest more than $1.25 million into the program during the 2023/24 financial year, with repairs and rehabilitation projects also planned for the Claremont Reserve creek line at Adamstown, Ironbark Creek at Elermore Vale, Wilai Creek at Elermore Vale, and Dark Creek at North Lambton.

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