Townsville City Council’s project to renew handrails on three walking tracks at the summit of Castle Hill has been completed on time and within budget.
The old handrails had reached the end of their useful life, promoting the six-month handrail renewal project.
The Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program contributed $250,000, with Townsville City Council covering the remainder of the $940,000 project cost.
Infrastructure Services Committee chairperson Kurt Rehbein said approximately 2,500 people visit Castle Hill every day .
“Council has committed to enhancing the experience for residents and visitors at landmark destinations like Castle Hill,” Cr Rehbein said.
Previously, the handrails had a top rail with in-fill mesh used in some sections. The new galvanised steel handrails have top, middle and bottom rails with a decades-long structural life.
“The project undertaken by tendered to JMAC generated 14 jobs as well as the engagement of highly skilled local helicopter pilots and ground crews to safely deliver and install construction equipment on the summit,” Cr Rehbein said.
“ Heli-lifts were the most efficient way to move large equipment on and off the summit and they minimised disruption to people driving or walking up Castle Hill.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the handrail renewal project adds to the appeal of Castle Hill as one of Townsville’s top nine walking and cycling attractions.
“It’s been great to work with Council through the Works for Queensland Program to deliver this worthy and important project,” Mr Stewart said,
“When you consider that more than 900,000 people from Townsville and around the world take the trip to the Castle Hill summit each year, it’s important they have a memorable experience.
“As a government, we continue to support councils throughout the north to help deliver important projects like this for communities.”
JMAC Constructions North Queensland Manager Greg LeBrocque said the Castle Hill handrails renewal is the second walking track project the company has completed in Townsville.
“We’ve previously constructed the Mount Louisa walking track, and the installation of new handrails on the extensive walking tracks at the Castle Hill summit gave us another opportunity to show what we can deliver,” Mr LeBrocque said.
“The Handrail Renewal Project is great for visitors to Castle Hill, and it has also benefited the many local suppliers we deal with.”
Castle Hill has eight major tracks ranging from 500m to 1.2km in length.
The next project to enhance the Castle Hill experience is underway with the replacement of the 40-year-old reservoir tank and its associated infrastructure, providing improved water pressure to summit amenities. This will include a Heli-lift of equipment on 31 May (weather and project conditions permitting), requiring the closure of tracks for one day as a safety precaution.