As Newcastle gears up to host the 24-26 November Coates Hire Newcastle 500, the city's East End has benefited from a comprehensive renewal program of road works and infrastructure improvements.
The race is set to be the biggest sporting event in Newcastle's history, and the world will be watching. While our stunning beaches, working harbour and the cafes and shops of our thriving CBD will provide the perfect backdrop to the action, these infrastructure projects will make the city more amenable to visitors while also providing long-term benefit to residents.
Newcastle City Council has invested almost $10 million in the east end in the lead-up to the Newcastle 500, and never before in the city's history has there been such an extensive urban renewal program in such a short space of time. Better roads, improved footpaths and cycleways, more reliable water supply and internet and a greener foreshore with more usable shade are among the benefits for residents and businesses in the area.
Above: Horseshoe Beach Road North before. Top: Horseshow Beach Road North after
By completing all works projects in a single, short timeframe Council was able to reduce project management and associated costs as well as disruption to residents and businesses. Roadworks along the track route created the opportunity to improve infrastructure beneath the roadway, such as drainage and optic fibre cabling. Ageing kerbs and gutters long overdue for attention have also been revamped.
While there has been some short-term pain preparing for this landmark event, Council is confident that the east end renewal program will create a lasting improvement in the precinct's infrastructure for years to come.
Renewing Newcastle's oldest street - The largest project within the suite of works is the renewal of Watt Street - Newcastle’s oldest road. Reconstruction of Watt Street includes a new, smoother roadway, new footpaths, kerbs and gutters, smart lighting, smart city underground cabling and new water mains.
Better connections between the Foreshore and the Bathers Way - A major pedestrian and cyclist bottleneck between the Bathers Way at Nobbys Beach and Joy Cummings Promenade running parallel with the harbour is being widened into a shared pathway, with Tug Berth Road converted into a dedicated cycling lane.
Newcastle Foreshore: more shade and parking - Visitors to the Foreshore will enjoy almost ten times more usable shade once new trees and shrubs are fully grown. These will include 130 advanced shade trees, more than a third of which will be Norfolk Island pines. Two car parks off Wharf Road have been linked to create 80 extra parking spaces.
Nobbys Road upgrade - A notoriously narrow footpath in front of the Boatmen’s Row terrace houses is being widened, with much-loved footpath gardens enlarged. The roadway is being completely renewed and will include improved access to Fort Scratchley. New lights over the Nobbys Road pedestrian crossing will increase safety for pedestrians and motorists.
Smart City - The transformation of Newcastle’s east end includes innovations to help us become one of Australia’s leading smart cities. Most visible are the smart poles along much of the track route.
These include remotely dimmable street lighting and WiFi transmitters, and the capacity to be upgraded with a range of high-tech components, including traffic monitoring cameras and public announcement systems. Below ground, smart cabling is future-proofing key parts of the CBD like Watt Street, providing the infrastructure needed for high-speed internet.
Keep up to date with the Newcastle 500 and other great events in our city at www.newcastle.nsw.gov.a