Newcastle 500 hairpin bend near Nobbys Beach opens next week

Posted by | August 13, 2017 | Community, employees, Employers, Industry News, Job Seekers, News


Love it or loathe it, preparations for the Newcastle 500 are reshaping the east end of the city.

From above, near Fort Scratchley, the form of a track for the November Supercars race has started to appear.

Event manager Kurt Sakzewski said motorists would be able to drive along the first piece of new racetrack from early next week – a hairpin bend through the park near Horseshoe and Nobby’s beaches.

“This will be the first time that people will see what the new section of track will actually look like,” he said.

After the race, grass will temporarily cover parts of the track that cut through the park until next year’s event.

“If someone comes up with a better solution then obviously we are open to that,” Mr Sakzewski said. “I think there’s potential for that roadway to be of use to the community.”

Mr Sakzewski said the closure of Watt Street to all but local traffic allowed crews to complete major work faster than anticipated, and the street was expected to reopen by the end of August.

“It’s obviously a bit hard for some people at the moment to see through all of the works that are going on,” he said. “They’re going to end up with a much better environment for all the people who live, work and play around the east end area.”

But Cooks Hill resident Brian Murphy said the community had been “totally sidelined” by event organisers. Mr Murphy was the Newcastle coordinator of the federal government’s Building Better Cities program between 1994 and 1998.

“[The park is] a community asset, it’s the premiere foreshore parkland in Newcastle and I suppose any council and community in its right mind would not want a large area cut up to provide facilities for essentially one sporting event that lasts for three days,” he said.

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said urban renewal taking place in the city’s east end was “unprecedented” in that part of town. She said a decade’s worth of upgrades were being completed in five months, ahead of the race.

“The result will be better roads, footpaths and cycleways, more reliable water supply and internet, and a greener foreshore with more usable shade,” she said.


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