29 March 2023
Ipswich residents will soon be able to stroll along the concrete pathway in River Heart Parklands once more as the central riverside park is prepared for a partial reopening.
The popular park has been closed since the 2022 floods and will go through an extensive engineering assessment and reconstruction process, after significant flood damage was discovered in the boardwalk foundations.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said like Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve, council would review River Heart Parklands to identify opportunities for a more resilient outcome against future floods.
“I’m very pleased that River Heart Parklands can now be partially reopened for residents to use after it was hit hard by the February 2022 flood, and has remained closed after council discovered movement in the foundations of the timber boardwalk,” Mayor Harding said.
“While specialist engineers have been called in to investigate the damage and establish what we can do in the future to make River Heart more resilient, I’m glad that the concrete pathway will now be accessible again.
“The concrete footpath connecting River Heart Parklands to Bob Gamble Park will reopen on 31 March, while the rest of the park will stay closed for public safety as council continues its assessments.”
The footpath will be open between 6am and 6pm daily and closed overnight for public safety, while lighting along the footpath is limited.
Council will install lighting along the footpath in coming months, and the opening hours will be reassessed at that time.
Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Councillor Russell Milligan said assessments now underway on the boardwalk will help provide council with a clear understanding of the available options.
“As with Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve, the damage to River Heart Parklands was extensive, and council is committed to ensuring our restored parks are more resilient and flood-proof,” Cr Milligan said.
“Investigatory assessment is underway to determine the extent of the damage and help us understand our options moving forward. Council intends to seek community input on the park’s future over the coming months.”
Division 3 Councillor Andrew Fechner said council was committed to ensuring riverside parks and facilities were rebuilt to be more resilient, reducing damage and costly repairs in future floods.
“Council knows it has been frustrating for residents to be fenced out of some of our most beautiful parks for so long, but we must ensure public safety before anything else,” Cr Fechner said.
“It is great that we can now partially open the concrete pathway between the River Heart Parklands Carpark and Bob Gamble Park.
“Council’s intention is to review the design of River Heart Parklands to reflect community need while also ensuring we are making cost-effective and resilient design decisions.
“Like Colleges Crossing, council will discuss proposed changes to River Heart with the community in the future.”
For more information about Ipswich City Council’s flood recovery efforts, visit Ipswich.qld.gov.au/services/flood-recovery