Narrandera is entering a period of massive construction growth for the next two years, set to change the face of the town for decades.
Local tradies and businesses will benefit from the injection of the $11.4 million Playground on the Murrumbidgee project aimed at developing tourism products and supporting facilities.
The project received $8 million in funding under a state government Drought Stimulus program, is made up of nine different projects and comes at a time when the regional economy is under stress from COVID-19.
Where possible, the projects must use contractors and suppliers from the Narrandera Shire.
Overall, $30 million in funded projects are already underway or are imminent across the shire to employ a significant number of trades and others across the workforce to stimulate a post COVID economic recovery.
Upgrades to the pools at Lake Talbot Water Park will include new pumping, pipework and filtration, solar heating of the Olympic pool, a new splash park, disabled access and additional shading.
Since Total Creations’ arrival on site in early April, the company has been focused on the facility’s transformation with a large portion of the project already completed.
Renovation of existing pool structures and the addition of new aquatic elements were distributed across two stages to best use the space available.
Stage one activities concentrated around Olympic and Rampage pool works, then worked westwards across the site to splash park construction, toddler pool improvements and a new plant room.
The second stage includes work underway on the new wet decks and partial floor replacement for the Olympic and Rampage pools, with new filtration pipework due to be installed for the Olympic Pool.
Project manager Fred Hammer and Total Creations General Manager Mark McLean have confirmed works are tracking in accordance with the timeline for an expected opening in November, ready in time for summer.
Stone retaining walls have been replaced with a concrete retaining wall at Lake Talbot, funded with $150,000 under the Drought Stimulus program.
Planning for the Narrandera Destination and Discovery Hub gets underway this month with construction scheduled for November 2021 through to September 2022. The opening is planned for October 2022.
Stakeholder engagement and a detailed design is also underway this month for the proposed Northbank Walkway and bridge.
A new walking/cycling track is planned for the northern side of the main canal, from the Newell Highway to Lake Drive, where it will connect with the existing cycleway.
It includes a new pedestrian bridge across the main canal, linking Brewery Flat camping area to the centre of town. Site survey and soil testing has been completed and a Memorandum of Understanding will be developed with Murrumbidgee Irrigation.
Council has slated construction work to begin on the walkway in September and the bridge next year in July.
Stakeholder engagement will begin in February on the bike and hike extension trail, through the Flora and Fauna reserve, using directional and interpretive signage. The opening is planned for June 2021.
The design of a walkway on the existing heritage railway bridge over the Murrumbidgee River will be completed by December with construction to start in August next year. The paperwork has been lodged with John Holland Rail for the heritage bridge and stakeholder engagement is underway.
The project includes a car parking area and access point on the beach side with interpretive signage.
Construction is due to start next month on the conversion of a disused amenity block at Lake Talbot Tourist Park into two family units. These are due to open in November in time for the summer tourist season.
The existing amenity blocks and camp kitchen will be replaced with a new combined facility and includes disabled access, family bathrooms and an enclosed camp kitchen, all to be completed by November 2021.
Work will get underway next month on the levelling of 12 existing grassed sites unsuitable for caravans due to the slope, while a new playground will be installed near the camp kitchen next year.