Supercars fast tracks city upgrades

14 Mar 2017

Newcastle City Council will undertake a comprehensive public works program in the city's east end to be completed in time for the Newcastle 500 Supercars event in November.

Councillors last night voted in favour of the work.

The program, valued at $8.8million, includes renewal of roads, footpaths and kerbs throughout the precinct, renewal of drainage and water mains, widening of a key footpath bottleneck along the Newcastle Foreshore and the commencement of activities highlighted in the Foreshore Plan of Management which was approved by Council in 2015 after extensive public consultation.

Watt Street, Newcastle's oldest street, will be upgraded.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said each project within the works program was either overdue or had already been planned and budgeted for over the next few years.

"This is a chance to fast-track scheduled infrastructure upgrades and put overdue projects in the east end of the city firmly back on the agenda," she said.

"Completing them in a single, short timeframe means we will reduce the long-term disruption to residents and businesses. It also significantly reduces the overall cost to ratepayers."

Nobbys Road footpath will be widened.

In the lead-up to the event, roadworks will be undertaken by Supercars to ensure roads within the race precinct are in top condition. All changes to roads required by Supercars will be paid for by them.

Ms Nelmes said those roadworks presented an opportunity to complete vital council work at the same time.

"Shortly after Supercars approached us about the possibility of hosting a race, we realised it was more than just a fantastic opportunity to boost the local economy and showcase Newcastle to a global television audience," she said.

The footpath on Wharf Road will be widened and link Joy Cummings Promenade with the Bathers Way.

Newcastle City Council will also seek feedback from the Newcastle community about the location of the final Newcastle 500 track. Feedback will be sought on the community's preference on the final location from two options - the current location via Zaara and Scott Streets and Nobbys Road OR an alternate route along Shortland Esplanade between Newcastle Ocean Baths and Nobbys Beach.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Newcastle community deserves the opportunity to be involved in determining the track location.

"Last night we resolved to consult with the community on the route selection and we are seeking advice from Destination NSW and Supercars Australia about this proposal.

"We want to hear from the community and see if there is an opportunity to ameliorate potential heritage impacts and concerns of local residents."

Renewal projects

Project areaProject detailsOriginal scheduled year
Watt StreetRoad renewal2009
Nobbys RdRoad renewal2008
Wharf RdFootpath and tree renewal2018
Horseshoe Beach Rd & carpark/Pasha WayRoad renewal2010
East end precinctStormwater upgrades2004
East end precinctUtilities improvementsN/A
Wharf RdResurfacing2018
East end precinctNew paths and linkagesN/A
Zaara StRoad renewal2016
Scott StResurfacing2015

"Our works program includes the reconstruction of Newcastle's first street, Watt Street. This work was due in 2009 but is not scheduled into the works program for another few years. It is a piece of Newcastle's history and it is fantastic to see this work scheduled for completion."

Tug Berth Road will be turned into a separated cycleway.

Interim CEO Frank Cordingley said that with the NSW Government coordinating the program of work and all the service providers, improvements would be expedited.

"We are able to renew roads, kerb and gutter, drainage and utilities in the precinct. We are working to install essential smart city infrastructure, including fibre-connected smart lighting poles that will allow for city centre wifi, public address speakers, environmental sensors and other smart city technologies."

"We are already seeing benefits on the project management side of things with a comprehensive heritage application submitted for road works in the Coal River Precinct. A coordinated approach means we can get a lot more done in a small amount of time."

Community benefits of the approved works program

  • kerb, footpaths and road surface renewed and water mains and stormwater drainage upgraded in Watt Street and Nobbys Road
  • road services placed underground for smart lighting in Watt Street, Wharf Road and Pasha Way as part of Council's smart city project
  • improved connection between Joy Cummings Promenade and Bathers Ways at Nobbys with pathway expanded to 4m-wide shared pathway
  • two existing carparks on the southern side of Wharf Road linked to provide new parking spaces
  • reconfiguration of Wharf Road/Pasha Way/Horseshoe Beach access to improve safety
  • Horseshoe Beach car park resurfaced
  • improvements to Foreshore Park pathways
  • new pedestrian crossing on Wharf Road and Pasha Way to improve pedestrian safety
  • Tug Berth Road turned into separated cycleway improving pedestrian and cycle access
  • new pedestrian crossing on Wharf Road and Pasha Way to improve pedestrian safety
  • improvements to Foreshore Park pathways
  • improved pedestrian access between Nobbys Road/Wharf Road car park through levelled out surfaces
  • new bus drop off zone on Nobbys Road at Nobbys Beach
  • 236 new plantings, including 55 new Norfolk Pines along Wharf Road and Nobbys Road
  • useable shade canopy of around 9,800sqm, up from around 500sqm

View previous release: Newcastle 500 fast tracks Foreshore shade, improved access and amenity