The Breakout Creek Redevelopment Stage 3 is now on the home stretch. See how the site has transformed and how it’s set to be a new nature haven for people and wildlife.

A close up of the new garden beds with new plantings
One of the new garden beds with new plantings.

The redevelopment which kicked off construction in February 2022, 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.

Take a closer look at what’s been happening over the past few months:

Plants are going in the ground

The first garden beds have been completed with topsoil and mulch and now planting of more than 215,000 new native locally grown plants has kicked off.

A man wearing an orange shirt and white hard hat is carrying a tray of new plants

Planting is taking place with both organic mulch and rock mulch, depending on the location and the mix of species planted. There’s 30,000m2 of garden beds with organic mulch and 12,500m2 of garden beds with rock mulch.

Planting will also include 112 new advanced native trees and 2 hectares of hydroseeding (where a mix of seed, water, fertiliser and mulch is sprayed into the topsoil).

And if you can’t remember what was there before, there were a lot of weeds and grass or, in other words, a low diversity of native plants.

An image of the newly planted garden bed, the river can be seen in the background

Better water quality is on the way

Construction of the wetlands and habitat pools on the northern banks is almost complete. This includes placement of a clay liner and topsoil.

Once the wetlands are complete, they will capture stormwater from the surrounding streets and naturally filter the water before it enters the river.

The new wetlands will improve the quality of water flowing into the sea.

an image of the river with a smaller pool of water on the river bank
The northern habitat pool.
Machines flattening the soil surrounded by grey rock mulch and basket walls filled with rocks
Placing and compacting clay to line one of the new wetlands.

Improving access and amenity

The landscaping work is continuing including building the 540m of gabion walls (walls made from rock-filled wire baskets) and the concrete retaining walls.

The new lighting and electrical cabling are being installed on both sides of the river. The upgraded lighting will enhance the safety for pedestrians and cyclists using the new paths.

The stairs leading to the river from the surrounding streets are being constructed, as are the viewing platforms where you’ll be able to relax and connect with nature once the project is complete.

an image of concrete stairs leading to the river
A work in progress – handrails still to come.
a front view of concrete stairs from the river to the surrounding streets

The boardwalk is being built

Fabrication of the elevated boardwalk is underway at the fabricator’s workshop off-site.

Once completed the elevated boardwalk will provide a more accessible path and connection to the neighbouring Apex Park.

image of piles of steel and workers wearing orange shirts and hard hats in the background

Kaurna sculptures are on their way

The fabrication of the Kaurna sculptures is taking place off-site. Artists Allan Sumner, Jason Balmer, and Daniel Deck have stated creating the sculptures using wood, cement, steel, clay, shells and other natural materials.

The sculptures will be spread out along the whole site including the Kaurna reflection space. This space will be for visitors to reflect on Kaurna culture and history.

Ibis feather sculpture being crafted.
Template for a shell midden mould.
Prototype for bulrush seed head.

What's happening next?

  • Continue planting until all 215,000 new native plants are in.
  • Work will continue to construct the remaining stairs and retaining walls.
  • Construction will take place on the south side wetlands.
  • The Kaurna reflection space construction.

Construction is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

When can I visit the area?

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.

Want to know more?

Find out more about River Torrens Breakout Creek Stage 3

For the latest on the project, sign-up for email updates.

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.

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