New face of beach
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.