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Coogee Bay Road To Receive Much-Needed Facelift

By Marcus Braid on March 30, 2015 in News

Photo: Andrew Olah

Photo: Andrew Olah

Randwick Council has used King Street in Newtown as a template for the proposed upgrade of Coogee Bay Road.

Wider footpaths, underground powerlines and improved pedestrian amenity are key features of a major upgrade of the Coogee Bay Road town centre, planned to start later this year.

“All the overhead wires were removed from King Street and the idea came from there,” Randwick Councillor Tony Bowen said.

“I’m hopeful that when it’s all done and when there are unobstructed views along Coogee Bay Road, it will look smashing.”

Council has adopted a concept plan that proposes widening the footpath by 1.2 metres on both sides of the road, as well as the creation of additional footpath ‘blisters’, which could be used for more outdoor dining, public art and landscaping.

“They are going to expand it but not massively,” Cr Bowen said. “Buses need to get down Coogee Bay Road and also ambulances. My hope is that it will really capture the seaside village feel that Coogee has.”

Cr Bowen, from Coogee Ward, hopes Coogee’s town centre will retain its unique style despite undergoing the improvements.

“Some of the other beaches are more transient,” he said. “Coogee’s distinct. I think it’s important it retains that easy-going charm and it doesn’t become too pretentious.

“It’s a beautiful spot and people want to live there and I understand what draws people in. I don’t want to see it develop an attitude and I don’t think that will happen.”

The Coogee community consultation process last year revealed an emerging theme of the need to create more parking, widen Coogee Bay Road, plant more trees and improve perceptions of safety.

Mayor Ted Seng said the plan was a “win, win”.

“Our staff have developed a plan that widens the footpaths, maintains two way vehicle access and has a small net increase in the amount of on-street parking – it really is a win, win,” he said.

The Coogee Bay Road facelift from Brook Street to Arden Street will also include new street pavers, street furniture and landscaping.

“Coogee Bay Road is one of our most vibrant and bustling town centres,” Cr Seng said. “This work will enhance its status as a premiere local shopping strip and tourist destination. Wider footpaths means more space for people, a better experience for visitors and it’s good for business.

“We’ve conducted a lot of investigations and community consultation to help develop this plan.

“Our recent Coogee community survey found 76 percent of respondents think upgrading Coogee Bay Road is important or very important, while 72 percent said that wider footpaths are important.”

Council will now develop detailed design plans for the work.