Breakout Creek Redevelopment Stage 3, which kicked off construction in February this year, is the final stage of revitalising the western end of the River Torrens/Karrawirra Pari, creating a healthier, more natural and more accessible environment. It's the longest stretch of the 30-year redevelopment project, transforming 1.5km of the river and banks, from Tapleys Hill Road in Lockleys to the sea.
When construction began, this stretch of river was a straight, artificial channel (see image below) with a low diversity of native plants and animals – both in the channel and on the surrounding land.
The current view of the site (below) reveals the beginnings of the river benches (habitat areas attached to the river banks), habitat pools and new wetlands, and the construction of the new shared-use paths. It might look a little browner than before we started, but that's just due to the earthworks that create the foundation for our new paths, river benches, habitat pools, wetlands and garden beds.
Construction is almost complete on the retaining walls on the south side of the river and the many gabion (rock basket) walls surrounding the wetlands and habitat pools.
On a recent inspection of the plant nursery, the 215,000-plus new plants were growing well, and many were flowering. Species such as the Gahnia filum, thatching grass or chaffy saw-sedge, will be planted to provide habitat for native animals – thatching grass is key habitat for the yellowish sedge-skipper butterfly (Hesperilla flavescens).
The local birdlife isn't bothered by the construction. On a recent site visit we spotted 2 swans, 3 cygnets and 2 ducks and their ducklings. We've been told they are very friendly and will walk up to the workers on-site and give them a fright.
Work will soon commence on the north side retaining walls and access stairs, adjacent Opie Street at West Beach.
If you live near the site, you might see or hear these works taking place. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause in the interim.
Residents will be notified when these works are due to commence.
For your safety, and so that we can work efficiently on both sides of the river, the River Torrens Linear Trail from Tapleys Hill Road to Seaview Road will remain closed on both sides of the river, while work is underway. We estimate that the paths will reopen by mid-2023.
Detour signage can be found on Seaview Road and Tapleys Hill Road, or view the trail closure detour map.
The construction crew will be stopping work on Wednesday 21 December and will commence in the new year on Monday 9 January.
Find out more about River Torrens Breakout Creek Stage 3
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And if this stretch of the river is your usual nature haven, we extend a big thanks again for your ongoing understanding while the transformation is happening behind the temporary fences.
The project is a $14 million partnership between Green Adelaide, the City of Charles Sturt, the City of West Torrens, the South Australian Department for Trade and Investment through the Planning and Development Fund, the Australian Government through the Environment Restoration Fund, and SA Water. The project is committed to working with the Traditional Owners of the Adelaide plains, the Kaurna people.