Pedestrians walking around the heights of the iconic Mount Panorama racing circuit will now be able to do so safely, after the official opening of the new boardwalk on Friday.
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The $2 million project to install the boardwalk has been two years in the making and it will stretch from Griffins Bend to the climb up the Mount and extends all the way to Forrest Elbow near the Bathurst Light Car Club, roughly 1.7 kilometres long.
The project, which was funded by a $1 million grant from the NSW Government and another $1 million from Bathurst Regional Council, was completed by local companies Webber Concrete and Constructions and Triaxial Consulting.
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Triaxial Consulting team leader Jim Disher said designers opted for a steel frame because the boardwalk would need to be elevated.
"We sort of took the preliminary design done by Bathurst council and delivered the construction plan," he said.
"That involved giving enough detail to build the thing and the idea behind it was the parts where it couldn't be accessed easily by concrete path, we'd have an elevated boardwalk.
"That involved a bit of a lateral thinking because of the terrain and that's why we wanted the steel frame construction. It's pretty light and it's pretty strong, easy to install and bolted all together.
"The levels were well suited to keep it at the same level as the track."
Mr Disher said safety was a number one priority when designing the boardwalk.
"lt provides a safer walk way for people going around the Mount, especially with the blind concerns," he said.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole said the boardwalk is a wonderful addition to the Mount Panorama circuit.
"It will only add to the lure of Mount Panorama as a tourist attraction," he said.
"Each week hundreds of locals walk the Mount to keep fit and the boardwalk really will improve pedestrian safety.
"It's very rare to drive around the track and not pass walkers. There's also groups of people who take on the challenge and some even have a pram, so improving safety is an issue which needed to be addressed."
Bathurst mayor Bobby Bourke expects the boardwalk to be popular with the local community.
"The boardwalk is sure to become a tourist attraction in its own right as visitors join locals in experiencing the iconic circuit from the safety of the pedestrian walkway," he said.
"The project has become reality through the generous funding support from the state government and council and with the assistance of local businesses."
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