The next stage of the Eden boardwalk project is underway on the northern side of Lake Curalo with work stepping up on the 1.8 kilometre walk last Monday.
It will include a 120 metre bridge, three viewing platforms and three seats and will open access to areas of the lake at Eden Cove, the old Eden racecourse, brickworks, remnant rainforest, marshlands and bird watching hotspots.
The project is being partially funded by an $82,000 Rural Local Community Infrastructure Program grant secured through Member for Eden Dr Mike Kelly.
Chairman of the Eden Foreshore Committee Incorporated John Walker estimates there will be a shortfall of around $150,000 to $200,000 to complete the work and is seeking support from Bega Valley Shire Council to raise the remaining funds.
When the walk is complete, it will bring walking paths along Aslings beach and the lake to a total of around seven kilometres, built largely by the community over the past 12 years.
It will eventually link with a walk from Aslings Beach to North Head proposed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
This week the committee has been wading around the boggy lowlands behind Government Road and Eden Cove with Bega Valley Shire Council project liaison officer Chris Ball and an engineer.
Mr Walker and Jeff Swane were on site yesterday morning (Wednesday) with engineer Austin Legler of Tasman Engineering Consultants to take soil samples and discuss the design of the bridge.
“It’s going to be a beautiful walk as it shows off an amazing variation in landscape,” John said.
“I’ll be really happy when it’s done but we need more money to complete it.”
Last week in drier foreshore behind Eden Cove, successful contractors for the project J Michelin and Son, began laying the crushed granite pathway towards Aslings Beach.
Once complete they will start work on another leg on the northern side of Palestine Creek and work back towards Eden Cove.
Those two legs will be joined by the 120 metre bridge.
Although the walk will be wheelchair friendly it will be difficult for people with disabilities to access it.
“It’s wheel chair friendly all the way through, but there’s no dedicated parking and no wheelchair access from Eden Cove,” Mr Walker said.
“You’re looking at around 1500 people living there one day.”
Alan Gibson, after whom part of the boardwalk is named, first brought reality to the vision for a walk around Lake Curalo in the late 1990s. Mr Walker took over as chairman in the early 2000s.