MILLIONS of pedestrians and cyclists can now enjoy more than 20km of continuous off-road paths along both sides of the Parramatta River with the completion of the new Escarpment Boardwalk.
The much-anticipated $18M project was officially opened today by City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer and Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee.
The impressive river-level path is a critical missing link in the Parramatta Valley Cycleway, connecting Parramatta Park to the burgeoning Melrose Park precinct and Sydney Olympic Park. Two new sets of stairs connecting the path to Stewart and Macarthur streets have also been installed.
“The new Escarpment Boardwalk is going to be a game-changer for the nearly two million people who use our riverside paths through the Parramatta CBD every year,” Cr Dwyer said.
“Since the pandemic hit, more pedestrians and cyclists than ever are accessing the Parramatta Valley Cycleway, so the opening of this vital link could not have come at a better time.
“The boardwalk and two new sets of stairs will halve the current travel distance, remove steep inclines, and avoid a number of road crossings – providing much safer access for all users, including students at Macarthur Girls High School.”
Located opposite the Parramatta Ferry Wharf, the project was co-funded by City of Parramatta Council and the NSW Government, through the Cycling Infrastructure Fund and Transport for NSW’s Active Transport Program.
Dr Geoff Lee said the State Government and Council have built Sydney’s best continuous pedestrian and cycleway along the Parramatta River, which includes the impressive over-water escarpment boardwalk.
“Residents will now have the opportunity to walk or ride to work from Parramatta CBD to Melrose Park without going on the road,” Dr Lee said.
“This will transform the way people move around our City and suburbs and enable everyone to explore and enjoy our beautiful area safely.”
The boardwalk is part of the multi-million-dollar transformation of Parramatta Quay – the river gateway to Sydney’s Central City. This includes the redevelopment of Charles Street Square, the area adjacent to the wharf, which will have an improved riverfront walk, new garden terrace, and an amphitheatre with views over the Quay by the second half of 2022.
“We want to turn the picturesque Parramatta riverfront into a true destination,” Cr Dwyer said.
“Whether you’re travelling by bike, foot or ferry, these projects will make the Parramatta CBD more connected and accessible for the many thousands of locals and visitors to our great City.”
FACTS ABOUT CONSTRUCTION OF THE ESCARPMENT BOARDWALK
• The boardwalk is three metres wide and nearly 500 metres long.
• It is made up of more than 250 pre-cast architectural elements, including 157 pre-cast decks, weighing several tonnes each, and 88 pre-cast beams.
• The path stands on 57 piles, which were constructed from barges on the river.
• It is designed to be submerged and withstand high-velocity floodwaters.
• More than 400 people worked on the project.
Photo: The completed project.