Nambucca River foreshore boardwalk opens to the public

It's been six months since the Nambucca River foreshore boardwalk was closed to the public for reconstruction.

But last Thursday, after a lengthy delay, the much-loved walkway quietly reopened.

The popular piece of infrastructure was in dire need of replacement with Council spending up to $25,000 annually to repair it.

"It was made with treated pine which is not suitable for estuary environments. A lot of timber on the boardwalk was failing," Council general manager Michael Coulter said.

But with a budget of $420,000 it was decided to utilise in-house talents again, after the success of the multi-million dollar Lanes Bridge build which was constructed by Council crews.

"A lot of the other places wouldn't even look at it without a million dollar we just found a way to do it with the materials we have, with the skills we have, and with the budget we have," Manager Infrastructure Services Matt Leibrandt told NBN news in September.

Council decided to make use of its surplus bridge girders for the job, after recently switching over from wooden to concrete bridges.

But the walkway was originally anticipated to be done months ago, in late August.

"We underestimated the tides, I think, a little bit," Mr Leibrandt said.

No heavy machinery was able to be used in the sensitive estuarine environment, so crews had to dig the pylons in by hand, which was only possible at low tide.

And the contracted supplier of the walkway flooring took longer than expected to deliver the goods.

With fires wreaking havoc on the Valley and Council crews working overtime to clear blocked roads and create access around burned bridges, the revised November ETA also lapsed.

Thankfully the work was completed before Christmas visitors start to flock. Mr Coulter said he's pleased with what's been achieved by his staff.

"It's an excellent job. It'll last a long time," he said.

The new three-metre width has got the nod of approval from cyclists already putting it to the test; plenty of space now to pass comfortably.

And local fishermen have been out testing the handy new fishing platforms.

But there have also been a few concerns raised by locals.

"Where have the seats and railings gone?" one woman who wants to remain anonymous said.

"What if older people want to rest a while - there's nowhere for them to hold onto. And there's nothing to stop kids from falling over the edge."

Mr Coulter said his staff anticipated concerns about the lack of railing before construction started, but said there are no plans to install one at this point.

"The width is such that the walkway doesn't require a railing," he said. "It's wide enough for people to pass, so there's no obvious reason for it."

There are also no current plans to install lighting which was another point raised by locals on their maiden walk along the new 205 metre expanse.

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