East end renewal taking shape as Newcastle 500 draws closer

19 Oct 2017

Millions of dollars' worth of improvements to Newcastle's east end are rapidly taking shape as the countdown to the inaugural Newcastle 500 continues.

With just over a month to go before the landmark event, work is nearing completion on Wharf Road, Horseshoe Beach Road, Nobbys Road, Watt Street and Shortland Esplanade, all of which form part of the new racetrack.

Key improvements include new road surfaces, wider footpaths, more parking and the installation of smart poles along much of the track route.

Crews this week also planted a row of 10 mature palm trees on the median strip between Wharf Road and its newly expanded off-street car park.

Newcastle City Council ICEO Jeremy Bath said that while there had been challenges for residents and businesses throughout the construction phase, the long-term benefits were starting to emerge.

"Council has spent more than $10million improving infrastructure throughout the race precinct," he said.

"These works have been on our to-do list for many years. Supercars and the 150,000 people who will attend the Newcastle 500 have provided the necessary impetus to get it done.

Among the upgrades for visitors to Newcastle Foreshore is the significant widening of the pathway linking the Bathers Way at Nobbys Beach to the Joy Cummings Promenade running parallel with Newcastle Harbour.

Previously, this stretch was a bottleneck for pedestrians and cyclists forced to negotiate a narrow path past the Newcastle pilot station.

"Road crossings will be safer for Foreshore visitors, there will be more off-street parking and, once our new plantings are fully grown, there will be vastly more shade throughout the foreshore precinct," Mr Bath said.

Resurfacing has begun of Nobbys Road, where footpaths and verge gardens have been widened and angle parking introduced to create more spaces.

Also this week, residents and businesses across Newcastle will receive a newsletter outlining the event and the benefits of Council's investment in the east end renewal program.