New face of beach

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

AF­TER 12 years, at least seven dif­fer­ent de­signs and end­less com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tions, the Four Mile Beach Es­planade is fi­nally get­ting a facelift.

The up­grade is the first part of the Port Dou­glas Water­front Master­plan to make its way from the draw­ing board to re­al­ity af­ter it was ap­proved by the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices com­mit­tee yes­ter­day.

The fi­nal de­sign does away with beach­side park­ing spa­ces in favour of an­gle park­ing on the western side of the es­planade and in­cor­po­rates na­tive plant­ings and traf­fic calm­ing de­vices to im­prove safety for pedes­tri­ans.

All-abil­i­ties ac­cess to the beach has been im­proved, with des­ig­nated park­ing bays and a ramp by the life­saver hut.

The golden canes on the western edge of the es­planade will be cut out and re­placed by a line of soli­taire palms, while a range of na­tive coastal trees will be planted on the beach side of the road.

Pedes­trian cross­ings, in­clud­ing a one-lane wig­gle near the life­saver hut, and a se­ries of speed humps, will en­sure traf­fic cir­cu­lates at a suit­ably se­date trop­i­cal pace.

The planned sec­ond ameni­ties block has been scrapped af­ter mem­bers of the com­mu­nity voiced con­cerns it would be­come the fo­cus of un­savoury ac­tiv­i­ties.

“I’m con­fi­dent we’ve got it right this time,” Di­vi­sion 10 councillor Ju­lia Leu said.

“There have been many plans over the years, but un­til now they haven’t been sup­ported by coun­cil or the com­mu­nity.

“How­ever, the es­planade area was long over­due for some sen­si­tive im­prove­ments.”

Work on-site is not ex­pected to be­gin dur­ing the tourist high sea­son, but should be com­pleted be­fore the wet sea­son be­gins in earnest.

The cost­ing of the up­grade has not been fi­nalised, but should be known within weeks as ten­ders are sought.

Coun­cil has al­lo­cated $800,000 to carry out works on the Port Dou­glas water­front this year, on top of $400,000 from last year’s bud­get which has not yet been spent.

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