Adelaide Road linear park is finished after five years

Murray Bridge's grand new entrance has got an official opening.

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Brenton Lewis and Vickie Chapman cut a ribbon to mark the completion of Murray Bridge’s Adelaide Road linear park. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Fifteen thousand seedlings, 11,000 square metres of lawn and more than two kilometres of pathways have added up to one impressive new entrance to Murray Bridge.

The council’s Heather Barclay ran through the numbers on Monday afternoon at an official opening for the Adelaide Road Linear Park.

Construction of the two-kilometre-long park had taken five years, but was accomplished on time and within a multi-million-dollar budget.

The state government put $344,000 towards the project.

What had been a dusty patch of scrub was now a useful, landscaped space, complete with shelters, barbecues, seating and – in the coming weeks – a few extra artworks.

Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman and Mayor Brenton Lewis cut a ribbon to mark the park’s completion.

Mr Lewis said he was glad to see the park being used: “you’d never drive along here without seeing people jogging, walking, pushing a pram”.

It was also helping to change people’s perceptions of Murray Bridge, he suggested.

“It’s part of saying who we are – it’s a statement, and it’s being noticed not just by our own community ... but (by) people from outside the community,” he said.

“I’m sure you get people saying to you ‘how good is this entrance, how good is Murray Bridge, what’s happening in Murray Bridge?’

“How good is it?

“This one investment that we’ve made has got such a huge return already.”

Swanport Road was next, he said.

Linear park was town pride committee’s number-one priority

The linear park concept was first suggested by local business and community leaders in 2015, and the first detailed concepts were produced in 2017.

The park was then completed in six stages, with the first – at the western end, around the White Hill Truck Drivers’ Memorial – finished in September of 2018.

At the time it was proposed, the main point of contention was where a new toilet block should be included: near the memorial or near the cemetery.

The council wound up solving that problem by building new toilets at both locations.