Community consultation on the current Wentworth Falls Lake Park upgrade has provided a wealth of valuable feedback that will help shape the delivery of this exciting project, as well as future stages.
Extended consultation with the community was held earlier this year on the design of the accessible bridge that will connect to a walkway and dual viewing platform, on the north side of the lake. This has resulted in the design being amended.
Council has also just been granted just under $4 million to significantly improve water management infrastructure at the park and complete an accessible pathway from Sinclair Crescent across the dam wall. Council is also currently seeking additional grant funding so that more parking can be installed at the lake, as a priority.
Online feedback was received together with an on-site consultation event where interested community members spoke with Council officers about the current plans and designs, asked questions and provided their thoughts.
One of the main questions raised about the design was the use of corten steel. In response, Council has listened and resolved to reduce the height of the corten steel facia on the bridge, walkway and viewing platform, from 650mm to 450mm (the minimum height to meet structural requirements).
Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said that corten steel was one of the materials chosen for the bridge and walkway construction as it strikes the right balance between both the structural and aesthetic requirements of the project.
“Materials have been carefully chosen to blend in with the natural surroundings. This includes the use of corten steel that will weather and blend in with the backdrop of trees and sandstone.
“Materials like wood and stone aren’t suitable for this project. We’re also committed to ensuring the bridge is as accessible as possible for community use, which is another critical consideration when it comes to materials.
“We are always interested to hear the views of the community to ensure we get the balance right. In this case, that means we can reduce the height of the steel without undermining the structure,” he said.
The full consultation report and new concept designs are now available at the Wentworth Falls Lake Park Have Your Say project page.
Council has also been working to secure additional grant funding for other improvements to the District Park.
Through the Australian Government’s Preparing Australian Communities – Local Program, Council has been granted just under $4 million to significantly improve water management infrastructure at the park.
As a separate, multi-staged project, Council will:
- Improve the dam and spillway and provide systems for actively monitoring water flow
- Deliver improved infrastructure for fire-fighting operations, and
- Construct a new, accessible pathway along the dam wall – that will connect to the bridge, walkway and dual viewing platform about to be built.
“These are important upgrades to the dam and spillway that will significantly increase local fire-fighting capabilities and provide the ability to accurately collect data on lake water levels, which is crucial for many reasons,” Mayor Greenhill continued.
Recent consultation also highlighted the community’s call for more parking and the completion of a full loop-walk around the park, as outlined in the community-endorsed Masterplan.
Council endorsed in principle at the Council Meeting on 31 May to seek an additional $8.5 million under the Blue Mountains Local Government Allocation for the WestInvest program.
“We know extra, formalised parking and a full loop walk at the lake are wanted by many in the community. These are two ideas expressed in the Wentworth Falls Lake Masterplan and we’re actively seeking grant funding currently, that can help us make these a reality as quickly as possible,” Mayor Greenhill said.
More information about the upgrades is available on the Wentworth Falls Lake Park Have Your Say project page.
Photo: Artist’s impressions of the bridge, walkway and dual viewing platform about to be built at Wentworth Falls Lake.