City of Newcastle is investing $2 million to improve traffic and pedestrian conditions in Wallsend’s local centre while opening the conversation on its long-term masterplan.
City staff will consult with the Wallsend community over the next month on local improvements ahead of a project to replace the busy Kokera/Cowper Street roundabout with traffic lights.
A joint public domain-flood mitigation program over the next 12 months includes design of the Boscawen and Nelson Street bridge replacements - to facilitate widening and naturalisation of the Hunter Water owned Ironbark Creek channel.
Flood mitigation work will also be completed on the channel within Wallsend Park, along with completion of a new shared pedestrian and cycle path.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the City’s local centres program would increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and improve the overall look and appeal of commercial centres.
“As we have shown with upgrades to the Beresfield and Carrington town centres, the work will significantly improve the appeal of Wallsend with high-quality infrastructure, such as new seating, street trees and landscaping,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Wallsend is a suburb brimming with history and character, which is why it’s so important we work with the community to determine what’s important as we make long-term improvements in the area.
“I encourage everyone to take part in the community engagement program for Wallsend before future projects transform Cowper Street into a high pedestrian activity area with a reduced speed limit and safer connections.”
In the past few months, City of Newcastle has completed the replacement of Tyrrell Street Bridge at a cost of $3.3 million and committed $20.7 million to reconstruct and raise the two other bridges as part of an overall flood-mitigation scheme.
Detailed design of upgraded traffic lights for the Nelson Street and Cowper Street intersection and a proposed roundabout at Cowper Street and Newcastle Road will also be carried out in the 2020/21 financial year.
Community members can have their say on the Wallsend upgrades from Tuesday 28 July at https://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/YourSay
The local centre overhaul is part of an $8 million investment into the revitalisation of eight suburban commercial precincts in the 2020/21 financial year.
Local centres and commercial precincts set for overhauls or planning work under the 2020/21 budget include:
- Wallsend ($2 million) - New traffic lights at the intersection of Cowper and Kokera Street, including stormwater upgrades and completion of a missing section of shared pedestrian and cycle path at a minimum width of 2.5m as part of an important regional east-west cycle route.
- Llewellyn Street, Merewether ($2.2 million) – Renewal of footpaths and drainage to make the shopping, dining and health care hub safer and more user friendly. The work includes the introduction of comfortable, fixed street furniture, new shade trees and low-level gardens.
- Joslin Street, Kotara ($1.4 million) - Upgrade of the roadway, footpaths and drainage between Rae Crescent and the Joslin Street shops. The project will also deliver a new public open space based on community feedback.
- Mitchell Street, Stockton ($1.3 million) - Footpath widening and pedestrian access plus safety improvements between Crown and King streets, with drainage upgrades and new street trees.
- Shortland ($500,000) – Consultation currently underway with residents and businesses to have their say on upgrades to the Sandgate Road local centre, including pedestrian safety improvements and new street furniture.
- James Street Plaza, Hamilton ($200,000) - Detailed design and construction set to follow community engagement to develop artwork and heritage interpretation.
- Orchardtown Road, New Lambton ($200,000) – Feedback from recent community engagement is being integrated into the Public Domain Plan and future design of the local centre.