The first two of 62 ten-tonne pre-cast concrete panels that will form a 150m boardwalk along (and out into) Lake Burley Griffin’s West Basin have been slotted in as the City to the Lake project gets underway in earnest this week.
The 8.1m long and 2m wide panels will be positioned just above the water level along the lake’s edge over the next month, with landscaping of Point Park, for which they form the centrepiece, to follow between April and November or December. The precinct will open to the public at that time and is expected to cost about $14 million to develop.
The boardwalk will extend out into the lake, providing a jetty-style feature that will enclose a small cove from which kayakers and other small boat users will be able to set out. At the end point of the boardwalk a sculptural marker will represent one point on the “lake axis” that formed part of Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for Canberra.
The RiotACT was given an exclusive tour of the construction site this morning, and learnt that the yellow, hose-like material sitting in the lake in that area between the city end of Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and the Westside carpark is the floating top section of large shark net-style sheets that prevent building materials from the project filtering out into the wider lake area. The positioning of the nets gives Canberrans an idea of where the boardwalk will be once its completed.
The concrete slabs, meanwhile, are large enough for several people to walk side by side (with faster moving traffic at the smoother end away from the lake and slower pedestrians closer to the lake, where a ridged section serves as a marker of the water’s proximity). Some slabs will feature park benches looking out over the lake once installed. The slabs are arriving by truck from a South Australian supplier in small numbers given their hefty size and weight, and the precision process of installing them in their future homes.
The ACT Government has provided a series of artists’ impressions of the final boardwalk and landscaping for the area, which shows a concept reminiscent of the controversial pedestrian and cyclist ramp from near the National Gallery up onto Kings Avenue Bridge.
This project will be completed before further development in the City to the Lake plan gets underway, ensuring residents will be able to access public recreational space and parkland that is established when they eventually move in.
Minister for Urban Renewal Mick Gentleman said this morning that the boardwalk would be an attraction in its own right and would encourage more people to enjoy Lake Burley Griffin.
“The boardwalk will create a great space for pedestrians to explore the shore of Lake Burley Griffin,” he said.
“Its generous size allows different types of users to enjoy the environment at their own pace.
“The installation of these panels signals the start of an exciting construction phase at West Basin waterfront where, once completed, the community will have an attractive and vibrant waterfront, creating a space to celebrate and have fun.”
The design consultant on the project is Indesco. The principal contractor is Chincivil Pty Ltd. The project comes under the umbrella of the Chief Minister, Treasurer and Economic Development Directorate.
Standard construction hours for the project will be from 7am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. There may be some work on Saturdays between 7am and 1pm.
Footpath diversions are in place for people to walk, run and cycle around Lake Burley Griffin during the construction period. For more information please visit www.citytolake.com.au