A new 280m waterfront promenade is being developed along Townsville’s Ross Creek and East End, under a partnership with Townsville City Council and the Queensland Government.
The boardwalk upgrade is part of the Townsville Waterfront Priority Development Area which is designed to revitalise the CBD’s East End and received $2.4 million through the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program.
The proposed 5m-wide promenade will run along the creek from the Flinders Street East carpark to the Museum of Tropical Queensland and ReefHQ Aquarium under redevelopment.
This is the first stage of three boardwalks in this area, including a pedestrian bridge that will connect pedestrians from Central Park through to the Flinders Street East precinct.
Following an open tender, Council awarded the design and construction package to Wagner’s CFT Manufacturing.
Construction of stage one of the boardwalk is expected to start by late June and be completed by the end of 2022.
Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill, said a network of recreational pathways along the edge of Ross Creek was one of the key initiatives identified for the Townsville Waterfront Priority Development Area when it was introduced in 2016.
“Both private and public sectors have already achieved so much in reactivating our city and it’s delivered a huge benefit for our community,” Mayor Hill said.
“Opening up places like the Stadium Precinct, Little Fletcher Bridge, the Reid Park Active Transport Bridge and Central Park Boardwalk to pedestrians and cyclists shows that there is a strong desire for residents and visitors to explore the city on foot.”
Mayor Hill said it was really encouraging to see people using the boardwalk, bridges and pathways for events at the Stadium as well as in their everyday lives.
“It shows there is a continued need to provide public investment that helps support recreation, and encouraged economic uplift by property owners,” Mayor Hill said.
“We want to keep the momentum going and Council continues to look at other ways to improve city connectivity, enhance liveability and support investment by the private sector in their city developments.
“All of these actions drive confidence in the market, and we are doing everything we can to grow Townsville.”
Mayor Hill said the new boardwalk along Ross Creek, linking the western boundary of the East End car park through to the western boundary of the ReefHQ site, is the next exciting development of the area.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the project would further realise the city’s natural assets and make the CBD an even better place to live, work and visit.
“We have seen cities across Australia and the world working to incorporate the creeks and rivers into their infrastructure,” Mr Stewart said.
“Paris, Chicago, Singapore and Brisbane, just to name a few, each have a famous walk along their river running through their CBD.
“Townsville already has a 400m boardwalk along the Ross Creek at Central Park and it’s been a hit with the community.
“This new promenade along the East End is going to be just as popular and just as successful in bringing people into our CBD.”
Mr Stewart said the project has the added benefit of generating jobs and assisting with Townsville’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Cultural and Community Development Committee chairperson and local divisional councillor, Ann-Maree Greaney, said the new boardwalk complemented work Council was doing with local traders to re-imagine Flinders Street East as the East End.
“For a long time, Flinders Street East has been Townsville’s entertainment precinct, and that will continue to remain part of its DNA,” Cr Greaney said.
“Council and the local traders are working together to inject a new lease of life into the area, both to boost patronage for businesses, and create a destination for visitors and residents alike.
“During 2021, the city held the very successful East End Eats event in the lead-up to the Reds versus Chiefs rugby union game and the magnificent City Street Eats: Origin Edition, demonstrating just how versatile this space is.”