June 4 - 10, 2023: Issue 586


North Avalon - Careel Bay footpath construction finally begins

The construction for the footpath between Careel Head Road and Currawong Avenue commenced on Monday May 29th 2023, at the Currawong end.

The footpath was the result of a petition from residents and went through a 'planning' stage that formed part of the 2022-23 Budget announcements and 2023-2024 Budget announcements.  

In December 2022 former Pittwater MP Rob Stokes announced funding for the footpath under the Get NSW Active program.

Get NSW Active provides funding for local projects that encourage vibrant centres and liveable neighbourhoods through the creation of street environments that prioritise walking and cycling.

Then Minister for Active Transport and Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes said the funding would go towards strengthening active transport in the community, making it easier for people to get from A to B in a way that doesn’t always involve getting in the car.

“We live in the most beautiful part of the most beautiful country in the world, but if there’s one thing we could use a bit more of, it’s better footpaths and active transport connections,” Mr Stokes said.

“For children, older people, parents pushing prams or people with disabilities – a street without a footpath isn’t an inconvenience - it’s a barrier to moving freely in public space. 

“That’s why the NSW Government is supporting Northern Beaches Council to deliver two key footpaths that will help residents and visitors move around safely.”

The projects that were funded included:

  • $971,000 for a new footpath, kerbs, gutters and drainage along the eastern side of Barrenjoey Road, North Avalon between Careel Head Road and Currawong Avenue.
  • $369,000 for a new footpath on the northern side of Turimetta Street, Mona Vale to complete the missing connection between Mona Vale Police Station and George Mockler House, a strategic walking connection to Mona Vale, schools and the B-Line.

The North Avalon-Careel Bay connection section is quite dangerous as people will pull their cars off the road without seeing pedestrians walking alongside. 

There have been a few near misses. 

It is also a section utilised by families accessing Careel Bay Playing Fields and becomes very crowded during the peak of the Football Season, and by students walking to and from Barrenjoey High school.

Altogether a grant allocating $971,000 for a new footpath, kerbs, gutters and drainage, in length 725m, was provided under the work of ex-Pittwater MP Rob Stokes.

This build was slated for a commencement build date of January 2023, however Transport for NSW required Council to undertake extra drainage works to reduce flooding along the section and as a result the Council drew new plans and has advised those living alongside this road that there will be a footpath but no kerb and guttering and only minor drainage works. Bollards will be put in place along sections where cars may continue to pull off the road at random and into and on to pedestrians, including the many schoolchildren who walk this section on their way to school.

Council's contractors will need to renew the ends of 41 driveways that meet the new footpath and 1 slab for bus-stop at Careel Head Road as part of these works and 3 sections will require a retaining wall alongside embankments, in 3 x cement or cinder blocks high in masonry blockwork. A total of 11 new drainage pits will be built, with some listed as new also being listed as  to be 'refurbished', according to the April 2023 updated plans. The footpath will be 1.5m wide up until 724 Barrenjoey road and then 2m thereafter. 

The Council states kerb and guttering and any additional drainage work will be deferred until Transport for NSW either provide Council with more funding or undertake the work themselves. The footpath works, those that Council states are funded, were proposed to commence in May 2023.

However, a drain that the Council blocked off with barricades last Winter on Careel Head Road still has those in place - no work has been done there yet either. 

On July 12th 2022 Pittwater Online forwarded images of a dangerous corner at North Avalon on the Barrenjoey and Careel Head Roads to the Office of Rob Stokes pointing out people were crossing over double lines heading north on a blind corner to avoid floodwaters. 

Within 2 weeks Transport for NSW contractors were out and had cleared the drain on the west side of the main road to alleviate flooding. The contractor did state to a PON reporter that they needed to report the drain opposite, on Careel Head Road, to Council as that was root bound, was causing the flooding, and was Council's responsibility to fix. 

At 8am on August 2nd 2022 a Council worker erected these barriers around one of the drains. The Council person stated to the Pittwater Online employee who spotted the barricades going up that the work would be attended to as soon as someone was able to do the work.

Saturday June 3, 2023 - barricades still in place around this still unfixed drain

The view north from Careel Head Road, North Avalon. This flooded corner, which was causing drivers to cross over the lines into the other lanes to avoid the flooding section, was promptly fixed by the NSW State government when they were alerted to the danger by residents. 

The Grant, under the Get NSW Active program, as worked for by former MP for Pittwater Rob Stokes, also included a further $369,000 for a new footpath on the northern side of Turimetta Street, Mona Vale to complete the missing connection between Mona Vale Police Station and George Mockler House, a strategic walking connection to Mona Vale, schools and the B-Line.

More in: Dangerous North Avalon-Mona Vale Road Sections To Finally Have Footpaths