World class boardwalk opens early for Noosa Triathlon
TAKE a walk on the boardwalk because Noosa's multi-million dollar Park Road upgrade is now open, two months ahead of schedule and under budget.
The upgrade, which took years of environmental planning, was due for completion in December but the team of hard working builders stopped at nothing to have it ready for the triathlon weekend.
Hutchinson Builders worked closely with Noosa Council on the project, and boy is it a beauty!
Natural timber and stone wrap their way through the popular stretch connecting Little Cove to the entrance of Noosa National Park, a sense of pride evident as some labourer's went the extra mile to hand craft railings or place rocks while local Steve McGinley hand carved Noosa's very own surfboard shower.
Hutchinson Builders area manager Michael Michell said the team worked hard toward an October finish ready for the Noosa community and triathlon visitors to enjoy.
"At the beginning of the project we set ourselves the target of having the Boardwalk open for the Noosa Tri weekend meaning we would have to complete the project two months ahead of schedule, something we have achieved and we are very proud of," he said.
"The site team has been outstanding managing the logistic, traffic, pedestrian and environmental challenges over the last seven months and producing a quality world class boardwalk."
Mr Michell commended the work of his team, the trades, suppliers, Noosa Council and design team for their efforts to build a world class boardwalk over the past seven months.
"The team has worked tirelessly especially over the last two weeks attending to the final touches to have the boardwalk and Park Road ready," he said.
Architect Grant Calder has worked on all three stages of Noosa's boardwalk over recent years and said this one is the best by far.
"I've been working on this for three years and just to see it come together, it's incredible," Mr Calder said
"Hutchinson Builders really have pulled out all the stops."
"Quality had to be number one for this project and that's why we have selected all the materials we have used. This boardwalk has been built to last."
The boardwalk opened to the public on Wednesday and local streets returned to normal for patient locals after work began in April.
"The lucky few who walked the boardwalk on Wednesday afternoon and evening were amazed at what has been achieved," Mr Michell said.
Minor landscaping work will continue over coming weeks before an official opening by Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington.
"Little bits and pieces need to be finished off to put the finishing touches on but to be open for the tri, it's just fantastic," Mr Calder said.
The 480 metre stretch is wider than previously and has five viewing decks as a place to sit and soak up the views, each Mr Calder said with it's own character.
Everything down to the screws which hold the boards in place have been chosen to be low maintenance and fade over time into the natural environment.
"These materials had to ensure durability, no maintenance and needed to last at least 50 years," Mr Calder said.
Noosa Council project manager Adam Britton said the whole team delivered on the project's intention.
"Hutchies were fantastic and worked really well with a difficult task," he said.
"They and subcontractors have really realised the intention and delivered."
"We really want to make a special mention to the site manager Joe Fry. He was here at 5:30 every morning and would be the last to leave. He's done a great job."
The design and construction of Park Road Boardwalk was closely monitored to ensure the environment was not compromised.
Community consultation, environmental protection and the timing of construction went into making the project as successful as it has been.
"We have maintained every tree, nothing was removed, and a lot of the design had been created on site as we've come across something," Mr Calder said pointing to a section of the boardwalk were the hand railing had been specially designed to allow room for a tree to keep growing.
"By the time we finish it will look like we've never been here."
"Throughout the project we constantly monitored the environment and had an environmental consultant who was providing knowledge to the team rather than just instruction," Mr Britton added.
A strip of lighting has also been installed lining the edge of the boardwalk which Mr Calder said had been chosen to minimise disturbance to residents in the street above.
The boardwalk's design is unique and, as arguably the most popular location in Queensland, Mr Britton said it had to be iconic.
"There is nothing standard about this boardwalk, it is out of the ordinary, Mr Britton said.
"There is a lot of pride in the work. It's not just a civil construction everything has been built with attention to detail."
What's more there is not a straight line anywhere along the walk with everything crafted on-site to fit specifically to the natural winding landscape.
A 14 tonne rock was also brought in as a feature where people can sit and watch the surf toward the national park entrance.
"We searched up and down south east Queensland to find a rock to suit the space and we found one at the quarry in Kin Kin. It weighs the equivalent of seven cars," Mr Britton said.
"It looked like a space ship being craned in," Mr Calder joked.
On Tuesday evening Hutchinson Builders, subcontractors and those involved in the design processes gathered to celebrate months of hard work, all expressing their pride in what has been delivered.
827 grout support piles
Almost 8000m of deck boards
Almost 35,000 stainless steel decking screws
Almost 500m of hand crafted timber kick rail
Almost 650m of hand crafted timber handrail