Penrith residents and visitors will be able to enjoy more of the Nepean River this spring, with the first stage of Regatta Park to open just in time for the October Long Weekend.
An adventure playspace, multi-use lawn space, shaded picnic and BBQ areas, pathways leading to the river foreshore, over-water viewing platforms and kayak launch areas will be ready to enjoy.
The initial section of the 90-space car park will also be open with many more spaces to come in stage two.
Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen encouraged the community to head out and make the most of the new park facilities.
“Thank you to our residents for their ongoing patience and support while we continue to bring our shared vision for Regatta Park to life,” Hitchen said.
“I can’t wait to see the park buzzing with families and friends getting together for picnics, children enjoying the playspace and people soaking up the river views.”
The River Road and Great Western Highway intersection has been closed and relocated to be opposite Lamrock Street, with new traffic lights installed and operational as part of the realignment of River Road.
Vehicular traffic continuing along River Road will be temporarily diverted via York Street while final works are being undertaken to connect the new and existing sections of the road. A new footpath along River Road is also open for pedestrians.
“These road changes will increase pedestrian safety, improve traffic flow along River Road, and provide better access to the Great Western Highway for residents and visitors,” Hitchen said.
“In time, the old section of River Road which runs through the middle of Regatta Park will become a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists as part of the Great River Walk along the Nepean River.”
The project is jointly funded with $19.2 million from Council and $15 million from the Australian and New South Wales governments as part of the Western Parkland City Liveability Program which is a key commitment in the Western Sydney City Deal.
The Western Sydney City Deal is a partnership between the Australian and NSW Governments and the eight Councils of the Western Parkland City.
Federal Member for Lindsay Melissa McIntosh said the Nepean River is at the heart of our community and connects us all.
“The opening of the stage one upgrade to Regatta Park will enable more local people to access our river, particularly along the foreshore with new over-water platforms,” McIntosh said.
“This project is a key part of creating spaces for healthy, active living for our entire community to enjoy – from our local children who will enjoy the brand new adventure playspace to families getting out on the weekend.
“This will help make our community an even better place to live, work and stay.”
Member for Penrith Karen McKeown said it was wonderful to see the first stage of the park come to fruition.
“The Regatta Park project is further boosting the appeal of the already popular Nepean River precinct and is a great example of all levels of government working together to deliver for the community,” she said.
Stage two will open in early 2024 and includes a junior cricket oval, outdoor gym equipment, more car parking spaces, central staircase leading to the river foreshore, a new shared path, 400 new trees throughout the park, and more.
A 112-metre pavilion with undercover water play, amenities building, and kiosk will open in mid-2024.