Progress as popular parklands footpath re-opens

The concrete footpath linking Bob Gamble Park to River Heart Parklands is once again open 24 hours a day with the removal of security gates and the installation of lighting now complete.

Repairs have been ongoing in the popular park since it was devastated in the 2022 floods and much of the park was made off limits to users for safety reasons before a partial reopening occurred in March of this year but with limited opening hours.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said it was a welcome development to have the pathway now open at all times and lighting installed at the western end of the concrete pathway, next to the River Heart Parklands car park.

“River Heart Parklands is one of our most popular and well-used parks, embracing the Bremer River as it winds through the city centre,” Mayor Harding said.

“It’s heartening to see the progress being achieved as council continues repairing damage and flood-proofing the River Heart Parklands.”

Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Deputy Mayor Russell Milligan said while the concrete path is open, the timber boardwalk and upper-level pathways remain closed as works to assess the structures and prepare design options continue.

“As with Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve, the damages to River Heart Parklands was extensive and we are ensuring we are making cost-effective and resilient design decisions to make our parks more flood-proof in future events,” Deputy Mayor Milligan said.

Division 3 Councillor Marnie Doyle said the detailed damage assessment is important to understand what needs to happen next.

“A community engagement process, similar to what was undertaken for Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve recently, will occur later this year to understand how the community uses the site to determine what is needed for future use remembering that we need to make the site resilient for future events,” Cr Doyle said.

Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said work completed to date on River Heart included general debris removal and clean-up, pressure-cleaning of the concrete pathway, repairs to the pathway and drainage, the installation of temporary solar lighting and temporary fencing, and the installation of Safe City Cameras.

“It’s estimated that the remaining closed areas of the parklands will be open in 2024 better than ever and council thanks the community for their on-going patience knowing that we are ensuring public safety before anything else,” Cr Fechner said.

“These major works are jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and they are a great example of all levels of government working together.”

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