A proposal to construct a cantilevered boardwalk/cycleway along the Minnamurra River, between the bridge and the roundabout, has unexpectedly received funding in the recent State Government Budget.
“It was always going to be a long-shot, but sometimes long-shots pay off,” said Member for Kiama Gareth Ward in making the announcement.
“This result is a testament to the extraordinary and strong feedback in support of the call for this project.”
The project was initiated some time ago by the Minnamurra Progress Association and championed by Councillor Mark Way.
“This project would arguably be the highest priority for people who live in Kiama Downs, Minnamurra and Gainsborough and all those who walk and cycle throughout the community,” says Cllr Way.
“It will be a vital link in the walking and cycleway infrastructure throughout the Municipality, including a link to Shellharbour. It will also provide safe access to the Bends.”
He sees its potential as a major tourism drawcard.
Minnamurra Progress Association President Cliff Mason says, “This is a major win for all concerned, but particularly for the residents of Minnamurra who have long called for both a safe pedestrian and cyclist access way along the beautiful eastern bank of the river on the outside of the road guard rail.
“The current narrow road around the bends is quite dangerous when cars meet cyclists and impatiently overtake across the double lines.”
Council’s Acting General Manager Kerry McMurray says there is still much to be done before the design can go on display.
“We have some very preliminary concept drawings and a whole lot of engineering and environmental studies need to be undertaken before any plans go on exhibition,” he says.
“Any concerns people might have about the project can be addressed as part of the planning process,” says Acting Mayor Kathy Rice.
The estimated cost of the project, which is to be fully funded by the State Government, has not been disclosed.
News of the project go-ahead comes at a time when Council is laying the concrete on the latest section of the cycleway to Jamberoo, across fields to Browns Lane, and momentum is building for the Berry Estate Trails project.
The Progress Association is hoping Mayor Mark Honey, Cllr Mark Way and the Director of Engineer & Works, Gino Belsito, will attend its August meeting
to update residents on plans for the construction of the boardwalk.