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Demolition works complete at Ipswich’s Colleges Crossing

The restoration of Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve in Chuwar into a newly flood-friendly public park is progressing well, with demolition now complete and earthwork starting this week.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said contractors Epoca had completed the demolition phase of restoration and work is now underway to shape the site for the new layout.

“The community told us loud and clear last year that returning Colleges Crossing to its original design was not sensible or reasonable, facing the inevitability of future floods,” Mayor Harding said.

“I’m delighted that we are now seeing progress on the new community-led design for Colleges Crossing, and that we will be able to reopen this beloved riverside park with a more sustainable and nature-based design.

“Demolition of the existing structures on site is now complete, with the removal of all the remaining play and gym infrastructure, tables, benches, shade shelters and the demolition of concrete pathways where required for the new design.

“Council’s contractors have removed the surviving Indigenous artwork on metal debris poles. This artwork has been retained and we will be seeking to return these to the artist.

“It’s exciting to see the work underway on-site, and I’m pleased that council has been able to progress this work for our residents to enjoy Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve once again.”

An artist’s impression of the planned Colleges Crossing restoration playground area.

Division 4 Councillor Jim Madden said the park is undergoing significant and rapid changes after the devastating impacts of the 2022 floods.

“With demolition now complete on-site, bulk earthworks are now underway to transform the site into the new design, with fewer permanent structures, more trees and green space according to the community’s preferred design,” Cr Madden said.

“The new design ensures that all new infrastructure will be at a higher level for additional flood resilience, and allow for disability access compliance site-wide.

“I’m pleased to see this work progressing so well, and I look forward to our community to be able to enjoy this beautiful park once again.”

Division 4 Councillor David Cullen said once earthworks are complete, work to install services would begin, including power, solar lighting and irrigation.

“Last year council asked the community what they wanted to see at Colleges Crossing, and more than 80 per cent of respondents said they wanted a more resilient, back-to-nature design with open green space, trees and options for events such as food trucks,” Cr Cullen said.

“Council is working hard to deliver that design, and we now anticipate this popular park will be reopened to the community in late 2024 or early 2025.”

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