Work to convert Ipswich mall to a shared pedestrian/vehicular precinct is ramping up.
The one way low speed road will run through the Ipswich mall from Brisbane Street to Bell Street along Union Place.
Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello said the road and footpath will be installed in stages and will provide the infrastructure required for the new CBD district on completion.
“Large sections of construction fencing have been installed in the Ipswich mall as the JMac Constructions team work on the site,” Mr Chemello said.
“Their team is currently investigating the existing road infrastructure and using ground penetrating radar equipment to locate services, such as water, power and sewerage, much of which currently sits beneath the existing mall.”
Demolition of the existing paving and lawn has started with section of the old Ipswich mall grassed area, as well as the area behind the former rotunda, now dug up for removal and salvage.
The red pavers, which once covered the mall from the shade sails right up to the Woolworth’s supermarket forecourt will be repurposed and used in what has become locally known as ‘smoker’s alley’, with the alleyway slated to become a funky Melbourne-inspired laneway.
The road and footpaths will be installed in stages, followed by the installation of new street furniture, lighting and signage. It is a complex project, which involves working over an existing Queensland Rail tunnel, necessitating more complex construction due to the potential location of unknown services onsite.
JMac Constructions Project Manager, Warren Priest, said the company had successfully completed similar projects including Noosa Junction Placemaking Stage 2 and the Brunswick Street Mall Upgrade in Fortitude Valley.
Mr Priest has also worked on a number of other high-profile projects including the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, as well as some significant local projects including Ipswich’s River Heart Parklands and stages one and two of the Robelle Domain at Springfield Central.
“JMac Constructions is excited to again be partnering with Ipswich to help revitalise a critical piece of public infrastructure that will be sure to reinvigorate the local economy on completion.” Mr Priest said.
JMac Constructions is expected to be working onsite until late 2019, with fencing to remain up for the next few months. A new pedestrian walkway between the carpark lift and mall has opened with new signage to be installed to provide clear way finding for customers and visitors.
The Ipswich CBD carpark will remain open with approximately 850 parking spaces available. Short-term visitors will continue to receive three hours free parking during business hours between Monday and Friday, with free weekday parking available after 5pm, five hours free parking with the purchase of cinema tickets and free parking on weekends and public holidays. Access to Bell Street, Ipswich Train Station and bus stops from the mall is now via the Ipswich City Plaza.