Bunbury’s new city entrance opens

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

Bunbury’s new and impressive grand entrance is on track, according to Mayor Gary Brennan who officially opened an upgraded Koombana Drive today.

The project, which included replacing the old timber George Baxter Boardwalk, has been hailed a big success after the multi-million dollar upgrade was finished on time and on budget.

After: The completed upgrade to Koombana Drive and George Baxter Promenade.
Camera IconAfter: The completed upgrade to Koombana Drive and George Baxter Promenade. Credit: FIREY Productions

The new land-based boardwalk will retain the name of George Baxter Promenade, with Mr Baxter’s son Ian Baxter helping cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony this morning.

After: The completed upgrade to Koombana Drive and George Baxter Promenade.
Camera IconAfter: The completed upgrade to Koombana Drive and George Baxter Promenade. Credit: FIREY Productions
After: The completed upgrade to Koombana Drive and George Baxter Promenade.
Camera IconAfter: The completed upgrade to Koombana Drive and George Baxter Promenade. Credit: FIREY Productions
After: The completed upgrade to Koombana Drive and George Baxter Promenade.
Camera IconAfter: The completed upgrade to Koombana Drive and George Baxter Promenade. Credit: FIREY Productions

Mr Brennan told the South Western Times it was “just the start” of a number of projects set to make a statement in the city.

After: Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan and son of George Baxter, Ian Baxter, at the plaque honouring the George Baxter Promenade.
Camera IconAfter: Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan and son of George Baxter, Ian Baxter, at the plaque honouring the George Baxter Promenade. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

“It’s going to be five years of exciting projects and work around the Koombana Bay and Casuarina Harbour area,” Mr Brennan said.

During: Dolphin Discovery Centre marine biologist Phil Coulthard monitors dolphin movements in the Leschenault Inlet during Koombana Drive upgrades.
Camera IconDuring: Dolphin Discovery Centre marine biologist Phil Coulthard monitors dolphin movements in the Leschenault Inlet during Koombana Drive upgrades. Credit: South Western Times
After: Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan and son of George Baxter, Ian Baxter, at the plaque honouring the George Baxter Promenade.
Camera IconAfter: Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan and son of George Baxter, Ian Baxter, at the plaque honouring the George Baxter Promenade. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times
Before: The boardwalk had to be closed in 2014 after it was damaged when a generator and a trailer came loose from a vehicle and travelled onto the opposite side of the road.
Camera IconBefore: The boardwalk had to be closed in 2014 after it was damaged when a generator and a trailer came loose from a vehicle and travelled onto the opposite side of the road. Credit: South Western Times

The Government approved money from the Regional Road Group fund due to be allocated in 2017-18 and 2018-19 to be brought forward for the project.

Before: Koombana Drive started eroding and crumbling into the inlet, prompting an upgrade project.
Camera IconBefore: Koombana Drive started eroding and crumbling into the inlet, prompting an upgrade project. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Originally estimated to cost about $5 million, Ertech Holdings won the contract with a bid well under budget at $3.14 million, with the actual costings yet to be finalised.

Before: Koombana Drive started eroding and crumbling into the inlet, prompting an upgrade project.
Camera IconBefore: Koombana Drive started eroding and crumbling into the inlet, prompting an upgrade project. Credit: Jon Gellweiler
Before: The boardwalk had to be closed in 2014 after it was damaged when a generator and a trailer came loose from a vehicle and travelled onto the opposite side of the road.
Camera IconBefore: The boardwalk had to be closed in 2014 after it was damaged when a generator and a trailer came loose from a vehicle and travelled onto the opposite side of the road. Credit: South Western Times

Mr Brennan said because the boardwalk was dual-use for cyclists and pedestrians, shelters could not be constructed on the path.

Mr Baxter this morning said he felt privileged to represent his family and father, who was “very community-minded”.

Before: Koombana Drive started eroding and crumbling into the inlet, prompting an upgrade project.
Camera IconBefore: Koombana Drive started eroding and crumbling into the inlet, prompting an upgrade project. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

“He would be honoured to be associated with this boardwalk,” he said.

“It’s very fitting to his legacy.”

Before: Koombana Drive started eroding and crumbling into the inlet, prompting an upgrade project.
Camera IconBefore: Koombana Drive started eroding and crumbling into the inlet, prompting an upgrade project. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

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