Central Coast Council has begun building a $1.05M boardwalk in Springfield that will provide an essential link between the residential neighbourhood and the local community school.

‘Chertsey Boardwalk’ will traverse Springfield Road Reserve with a three metre-wide, 80 metre-long raised walkway over the wetland, connecting Balfour Close with Willow Road.

The project is jointly funded by a $679K contribution from Council and $375K from the Federal Government through its Improving Your Local Park and Environment program.

The boardwalk is positioned within an identified reserve area which is prone to flooding during storm events.

Council Director, Assets, Infrastructure and Business, Mike Dowling said that Council has invested in an engineered design with considered materials.

“Our priority is to build sustainable infrastructure to increase the quality of life for local communities now and into the future”, Mr Dowling said.

“The walkway will be constructed of a strong and durable composite fibre, ensuring that this is a long-term structure that will continue to allow safer passage for many years to come. “

Mayor Jane Smith said that safety, accessibility and minimising environmental impact were Council’s primary considerations in designing the boardwalk.

“The local community asked for a safer passageway between their homes and the local school,” Ms Smith said.

“For people with additional mobility needs, the area has not previously been accessible, and we’re excited that the boardwalk will enable many more people access through the reserve.

“We’ve ensured the design minimises any impact on the environment and local native species, and by restricting passage to a defined walkway, surrounding vegetation will be protected from incidental damage caused by foot traffic.”

Lucy Wicks, Member for Robertson said the boardwalk is fantastic news for Springfield families that advocated for this local project.

“This boardwalk has been the dream of the Springfield community for over 15 years, and it’s fantastic to see our election commitment being delivered, after we announced funding as part of our $2.2 million Environment Plan,” Mrs Wicks said.

“Gail Sante and the Springfield Residents Association, along with the staff and students at Chertsey Primary School have been instrumental in advocating for this boardwalk; it’s also been great seeing Central Coast Council work so hard on consulting with the community and coming up with such an inspiring, environmentally sensitive design.”

“A formal walkway will ensure that local students and their families can safely access their school while also helping to protect any sensitive vegetation and local wildlife in the area,” Mrs Wicks said.

During the period of construction, there will be no public access to the reserve. The boardwalk is scheduled to be operational by early Spring 2018.