Sturt Reserve redevelopment to start within six weeks

The first stage of a multi-million-dollar overhaul of Murray Bridge's riverfront is about t begin.

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A redevelopment of Murray Bridge's riverfront will begin in the next six weeks, after years – decades – of planning.

The first stage of work, pictured, will include:

  • a wider, smoother path along the riverbank, between the tennis courts and bunyip

  • a pontoon in front of the new rowing centre

  • the removal of the sagging concrete wharf where the Proud Mary previously docked

  • a new toilet block, and

  • bank stabilisation, landscaping and furniture

Those works, and the rowing centre, are all expected to be finished in November or December.

New shaded areas, picnic tables and other features, pictured in brown, will be added sometime after that.

But a plan to build a new two- to three-lane boat ramp at the southern end of the reserve, on Jaensch Road, has been delayed.

Engineers warned that the ground was unstable in that area, and that any ramp built there would sink into the sediment, as Murray Bridge News reported on July 2.

The council will investigate other sites within Sturt Reserve and, if that fails, elsewhere.

Now is ‘time to get on with it’, councillors say

Councillors had promised in 2018 that the boat ramp would be built before the existing one near the tennis courts was removed, Cr Airlie Keen reminded her colleagues at a meeting on Monday night.

She also expressed a hope that the community and artists would be able to collaborate on designing future works, as they had done during the recent redevelopment of the nearby skate park.

But she and the other councillors generally expressed satisfaction that progress was being made on the riverfront at last.

Cr Andrew Baltensperger said it was now “time to get on with it”.

The riverfront redevelopment will eventually include another $20 million worth of work over the next eight years.

The council’s next priority will be the war memorial now being built beneath Wharf Hill, which will eventually form part of a history and tourism precinct at that end of Sturt Reserve.

In time, the council’s master plan for Sturt Reserve calls for a stage and dog park near the existing playground; a new visitor information centre and cafe on the wharf; and, eventually, accommodation of some kind on the back half of the reserve.

Image: Rural City of Murray Bridge.